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New Hampshire has recently become the second state in the nation to lower the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for arsenic in municipal water systems from 10 ppb (parts per billion) to 5 ppb. However, in New Hampshire around 40% of the population does not rely on municipal water systems. Being a rural state, many New Hampshire residents have a private well water as their main drinking water source. These wells do not undergo regular testing like municipal water systems and levels of arsenic can be significantly higher than 5 ppb. The levels of arsenic in private wells throughout New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine can vary greatly and are dependent on the geology of the area and the amount of arsenic in bedrock. It is up to the homeowner to test their own well water. Learn more about how to get your well water tested in New Hampshire.

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Arsenic in New Hampshire

New Hampshire has recently become the second state in the nation to lower the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for arsenic in municipal water systems from 10 ppb (parts per billion) to 5 ppb. However, in New Hampshire around 40% of the population does not rely on municipal water systems. Being a rural state, many New Hampshire residents have a private well water as their main drinking water source. These wells do not undergo regular testing like municipal water systems and levels of arsenic can be significantly higher than 5 ppb. The levels of arsenic in private wells throughout New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine can vary greatly and are dependent on the geology of the area and the amount of arsenic in bedrock. It is up to the homeowner to test their own well water. Learn more about how to get your well water tested in New Hampshire.
 
Water that enters your home through a private-well, could have the potential to contain arsenic, depending on the geographical area that you live in. In the northeast, private wells are especially common in rural areas. Arsenic can be harmful to your health. Because children are small, they may be more sensitive to its effects.

Check out the map of the United States on the next page to see the relative amounts of arsenic in your region.

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In the U.S., high concentrations of naturally occurring arsenic are more common in the West, Midwest, parts of Texas, and Northeast, but can occur almost anywhere. This map shows the probability of arsenic in private well water greater than 10 parts per billion (ppb), the maximum contaminant level for arsenic in public water supplies. Note: 1 ug/L is the same as 1 ppb. Remember, arsenic is not just a problem in those regions, so test your well for arsenic no matter where you live. Data and map — U.S. Geological Survey
 
If you live in northern New England and live on a private well system, it is advised that you regularly test your water supply for arsenic. Every three to five years is the recommended period for testing.

 

Check out the video below to learn more:

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Testing for Arsenic 

Order a kit from an accredited laboratory to sample your water. The New Hampshire Public Health Lab has an online container request form, as do some other labs. You can send samples of your water to a lab to have your water tested. 

Follow the instructions included in the kit to sample your well-water and send back the water sample(s) immediately to the lab.

Review the report from the lab. Any contaminants that may affect your health or your home appliances will be highlighted.

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