DHHS → MeCDC → Division of Public Health Systems → HETL → Water Testing → Arsenic
Drinking Water Standards and Health Risks
The primary drinking water standard for arsenic is 10 micrograms per liter (10ug/L). In high concentrations, arsenic can damage the digestive tract, heart and circulation. Studies suggest that arsenic is associated with skin cancer. Studies also indicate that arsenic in small amounts may be an essential element for normal human development.
Possible Source of Contamination
Arsenic is a naturally occurring chemical found in soil and rocks. Some rocks have higher levels of arsenic, and this is most likely why about 1-in-every-10 drilled wells have high arsenic water. High arsenic water is more common for drilled wells, but even dug wells can have elevated levels. Wells high in arsenic have been found all over Maine. The Bureau of Health recommends that all household wells be tested for arsenic. Homeowners should be aware that water tests conducted before the year 2000 only included arsenic testing when it was requested.
Additional Arsenic Information
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR NEED ADVICE ON HOW TO CORRECT THE PROBLEM, CONTACT THE HEATLH AND ENVIRONMENTAL TESTING LABORATORY AT 207-287-1716.