1. What is the EPA limit for the amount of arsenic allowable in public drinking water?

    The EPA limit for arsenic in public drinking water is 10 parts per billion (ppb). This standard was adopted in 2001, replacing the old standard of 50 ppb. Public water systems were required to meet the new standard by 2006. 

  2.  Is drinking water containing less than 10 ppb of arsenic safe to drink?

    No. The EPA’s goal is zero arsenic in drinking water. There isn’t really a “safe” level of arsenic because even low levels of arsenic may increase your risk of diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes later in life. 

  3.  Is it important to get your well tested for arsenic and other contaminants?

    Yes. Bacteria, nitrates, arsenic, radon, uranium, lead, and copper are all important to test for. Watch this short video about concerns contaminants in drinking water can cause. 

  4. What should I do if I get a high test result?

    If anything is above the recommended federal guidelines, a confirmation sample should be collected before making any decisions regarding water treatment. It is a good idea to switch to drinking bottled water until you confirm the first test, and then install a remediation system if necessary. There are a number of certified water quality testing labs you can use (Maine labs and New Hampshire labs). 

  5.  Why do I have to retest my drinking water for arsenic every 3-5 years?

    Water quality can change over time due to natural and human-induced causes, so it’s important to monitor your well water. 

  6.  Why are there so many units associate with drinking water limits?

    All units are equal: 10 ppb = 0.01 ppm = 0.01 mg/l = 10 ug/l

  7. Where should I go for well water advice?
    Maine: 866-292-3474 or wellwater.maine.gov
    New Hampshire: 603-271-2513