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About Arsenic In Groundwater

Water arsenic contamination is very serious and can lead to many health problems

Posted 04:55 September 07, 2018
Last Updated 05:06 November 01, 2018

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The Most (And Least) Toxic Places In America

What Is Arsenic?


Arsenic is a metalloid pure elemental crystal. Because it is a crystal (like salt), it dissolves in water. Arsenic is extremely toxic to humans. Humans can be exposed to arsenic though dermal (skin) absorption or by drinking it in dissolved in water. Arsenic exposure can lead to many health problems and even death. The most common health conditions associated with arsenic are diabetes, heart disease, skin legions, and numerous forms of cancer.

Arsenic is a carcinogen (an substance that is capable of causing cancer). It is naturally present in the groundwater of many countries.

In children, arsenic is more dangerous in low doses. Over time arsenic can lead to:

• Poor brain function

• Lower IQ

• An impaired immune system.

• Growth and development problems

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Signs Your Home May Contain Arsenic


Arsenic is tasteless, odorless, and colorless. The only way to detect arsenic is to test for it. If you are on a public water system, your public works company must regularly test for arsenic in the water (and remove it).

If you have a well and use groundwater, it’s up to you to test for arsenic. Some states require homeowners with water wells to regularly test for water contaminants. Check the local laws in your area.

How Do I Test My Water For Arsenic?


There are 2 types of arsenic tests available. The first you can fully do at home. The second, you collect a water sample and mail it to a laboratory for extensive testing. The second method gives better results and very precise measurements of contaminants found in your water.

Test kits vary in price, but are generally between $25 and $50. Home kits take between 10 and 30 minutes to return results. It’s probably best to test with a home kit first. If any arsenic is found, invest in a more extensive laboratory test.

Your county health department may have laboratory tests available at a reduced cost. Check with them first. Even if they don’t provide this service they are an excellent source of information.


The Results


If arsenic is present at more than 10 parts per billion, stop drinking it, bathing in it, and cooking with it immediately. Some local jurisdictions recommend taking these precautions if your arsenic levels are as low as 5 parts per billion.

Boiling water does not remove arsenic. When you boil water that is contaminated with arsenic, some water evaporates (through steam) and all the arsenic remains behind. The arsenic levels will actually increase after boiling. Boiling water only helps to kill biological contaminants (bacteria and viruses).

The map above shows that Clark County Nevada is especially at risk for arsenic ground water contamination.

Long Term Solutions


Unfortunately there are not many long term solutions for homeowners on well water, other than connecting to a public water system. You can try digging a well in a new location, but this can be an extremely expensive option and it may not fix the problem.

You can install a home water treatment system that will remove arsenic and other contaminants from your well water. You will need to contact a professional. The cost for whole-home water treatment systems can range between $2,000 and $4,000.

If your home’s water is contaminated with arsenic or other toxic contaminants, contact us at All Trades for a consultation. Our professional plumbers provide fast, fully-guaranteed service. Our service area includes Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, and most parts of Clark County Nevada.

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