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Problem Water Series: A Lesson on Arsenic

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Have you wondered how to detect and test for contaminants in your water? Has arsenic been reported in your community’s well water? It’s time for a lesson on arsenic.

Arsenic is a naturally occurring element, and is found in soil, rocks and minerals (1). Arsenic can enter the environment and ground water in a variety of ways – some natural and some unnatural. Arsenic is naturally released into the atmosphere due to erosion of natural deposits (2). It can also be released from farming, industrial and manufacturing processes (1) such as runoffs from orchards, fertilizers, mining, coal burning and electronics manufacturing (2). There are negative health effects associated with exposure and consumption of arsenic(2). Due to the health effects, it is important for consumers to be knowledgeable about the contaminants and risks associated with arsenic and other commonly occurring contaminants.

Drinking water is one way the human body can be exposed to arsenic. Municipal water is tested regularly and must meet EPA standards under the Safe Drinking Water Act (2). If arsenic exists in the water from a municipal supply, it is removed to meet EPA specifications before it is delivered to the system. If you and your family get drinking water from a private well, which is often the case for those living in the suburbs or rural areas; the EPA recommends you test your water annually (4).

Unfortunately, arsenic is a tricky contaminant because it is undetectable by human senses; it is odorless, colorless and tasteless (3). If you are concerned about the potential presence of this contaminant or if you know it is an issue in your area, it is recommended that you call a problem water expert. Your local Culligan Man can analyze your water, identify potential contaminants or impurities* and recommend a resolution.

One solution that Culligan offers is a Whole House Arsenic Reduction Filter. Tested and certified by the Water Quality Association, Culligan’s Whole House Arsenic Reduction Filters are built to reduce the presence of contaminants in water including, but not limited to, arsenic. On top of this, the filter continually monitors system’s performance and will alert you if service is needed. Culligan can continue to provide ongoing water tests, usually annually, both before treatment and after, helping document the performance of your system.

Remember, a great way to have peace of mind about your drinking water is to stay educated, and call a local water expert for help. Culligan is #1 in Problem Water Treatment.

*Arsenic and other contaminants and impurities are not necessarily in your water.

1) http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/private/wells/disease/arsenic.html

2) http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/basicinformation/arsenic.cfm

3) http://www.state.nj.us/dep/dsr/arsenic/guide.htm#7

4) http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/private/wells/testing.html


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