Dear EarthTalk: The recent explosion at a West, Texas fertilizer plant that killed many people really alarmed me. Places like this must exist near many communities around the country. How do I know if my own community might be at risk of a similar disaster? – Mary Cyr, Sarasota, FL
Wells in New Hampshire can contain any number of colorless, odorless chemicals. The three most common in descending order are Arsenic, Manganese and Radon.
Credit US Geological Survey
This map estimates the probability of finding arsenic in a bedrock well. DES says even if you aren't in an area with high levels of arsenic, it's possible that other contaminants like radon or uranium are in your water.
About 40 percent of New Hampshire residents get their drinking water from private wells. The Department of Environmental Services is encouraging well owners to test their water for arsenic, but unlike municipal water supplies, testing isn’t mandatory. And colorless, odorless contaminants abound in the Granite State.