USGS: Low Levels Of Arsenic in 40 Percent Of N.H. Groundwater

Dec 4, 2012

While concentrations of arsenic higher than 10 ppb - which is above the safe standard for public drinking water - are found mainly in Southeastern and South Central New Hampshire, lower concentrations can be found all over the state.
Credit U.S. Geologic Survey

A new study out from the US Geological Survey finds that low levels of Arsenic are present in 40 percent of New Hampshire’s groundwater. 

USGS scientist Joe Ayotte says it’s been known for some time that 1 in 5 wells in New Hampshire has more than 10 parts per billion of Arsenic, which is above the EPA standards for safety. These high concentrations were found mostly on the seacoast.

But this report looked at low levels of Arsenic, and found they are much more widespread.

Ayotte: It turns out you can get concentrations almost anywhere in the state.


And this could be affecting people’s health. For example, Dartmouth researcher Bruce Stanton says some preliminary studies find that these very low arsenic exposures could be making people more susceptible to lung infections.

While many think of bedrock well-water as being cleaner than
Credit Flikr Creative Commons / eyesore9

Stanton: The bottom line is there’s not a lot of research at these low levels, we’re beginning to do research and we are finding significant effects.

Stanton says, one thing is for sure: the safest thing to do, is to get your well tested: better safe than sorry.