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Arsenic In Drinking Water

April 7th, 2014 by Eileen Pannetier

Guest Blogger – Kristen Berger, P.E., ENV SP

Arsenic is present in drinking waters throughout New England and is known to cause cancer, cardiovascular disease, immunological disorders, diabetes and other medical issues when consumed through drinking water.  In order to protect public health, the U.S. EPA and State drinking water regulators established a maximum contaminant level (MCL) of arsenic in drinking water at 10 micrograms per liter (ug/L) or parts per billion (ppb).

Ongoing research indicates that the current MCL may not be sufficient. The most recent study released in the Environmental Health Journal on April 1, 2014 indicates that levels of arsenic in drinking water of 5 ug/L may lower children’s intelligence levels. http://www.ehjournal.net/content/13/1/23/abstract

What can you do?  Similar to iron and manganese, you may have arsenic levels below a laboratory detection limit in your well at startup, only to have it increase over time. It is important that you test your wells for arsenic at least annually.  Recently, one of CEI’s clients experienced an increase in arsenic over time.  We are now working with them to design a filtration facility to remove arsenic.

Removing arsenic is not that complicated. Some of the same treatment processes used to remove iron and manganese can also remove arsenic.  Note that you do need to know what type of arsenic is in your water and be aware of other constituents that may complicate treatment removal.

CEI has a webpage dedicated to arsenic in drinking water, located on our Innovation – Water Supply page at http://www.ceiengineers.com/innovation.  Here you can find more detailed information on where arsenic comes from, the health effects, regulatory limits and methods of treatment.

For more information about arsenic in drinking water and removal options please contact Kristen at 800.725.2550 or kberger@ceiengineers.com.

Posted in the categories Compliance, Drinking Water.