Wells testing positive for arsenic or uranium, report finds - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Wells testing positive for arsenic or uranium, report finds

Posted: Updated:
(WFSB file) (WFSB file)
(WFSB) -

A new report says some private wells in Connecticut have high levels of naturally occurring arsenic or uranium.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the report was part of a joint research project with Connecticut health officials in which 674 wells were sampled.

The lab results showed 7 percent of the wells tested for arsenic or uranium at levels higher than maximum containment levels under Connecticut law.

"During our research, we discovered there were more arsenic and uranium in private wells than was previously known," said Sarah Flanagan, USGS hydrologist.

The discoveries were made across the state and correlated to 81 types of bedrock, the USGS said.

However, it wasn't the bedrock alone in some cases.

"For example, some major bedrock categories that had generally low levels of contamination also had a few isolated wells with high concentrations of arsenic or uranium," Flanagan said.  

The USGS said the results reaffirm the state Department of Public Health's recommendation that private well owners test their wells for the metals.

"Our study shows that any private well in Connecticut has the potential to have elevated arsenic or uranium," said Ryan Tetreault, DPH private well program supervisor. "Private well owners should have their well tested at least once for these contaminants."

Arsenic and uranium are metals that can be found naturally in bedrock, according to the USGS. Wells drilled into bedrock aquifers can contain them.

Arsenic has been linked to cancers and other health problems.

Uranium can affect kidneys but is not considered a significant cancer risk.

To read the full report, click here

For more information, click here

Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.