Arsenic Contamination of Private Potable Wells

by Anthony J. Zuena, SEA Consultants Inc, Boston, MA, USA,
Norma W. Keane, SEA Consultants Inc, Boston, MA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Environmental Engineering


The results of a series of water testing programs of private residential wells in Pepperell, Massachusetts showed that of 301 wells tested, approximately 12 percent exhibited arsenic levels in excess of the maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 0. 050 milligrams per liter (mg/l) proscribed by the Safe Drinking Water Act. An additional 19 percent exhibited arsenic levels within the cautionary range recommended by the U. S. Public Health Service for children and pregnant women. The majority of the contaminated wells were known to be drilled bedrock wells. Hydrogeologic investigations and subsequent laboratory analyses suggest that naturally occurring arsenic in bedrock is the likely source of potable well contamination, and may be exacerbated by arsenical pesticide residuals in adjacent soils. (Author abstract. )

Subject Headings: Public health and safety | Water pollution | Bedrock | Soil analysis | Water resources | Arsenic | Public services | Women | Massachusetts | United States

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