Dec 28, 2000

Drought Poses Potential Risks to Private Well Drinking Water

Ground and surface water levels continue to drop in some western and Midwestern states. The decreasing water levels raise the risk for more than one-third of Americans who depend on private wells for drinking water. Drought has affected some states such as Arizona, Montana, South Dakota, Idaho and Utah that have high levels of naturally occurring arsenic in their groundwater.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants Americans to recognize the potential health risks of drought conditions that concentrate contaminants in drinking water. The amounts of arsenic and other heavy metals become more concentrated during drought conditions. Consumers count on public utilities to filter contaminants, but private wells only have guidelines to follow and are not regulated by the EPA.

Recently, the EPA is recommending a reduction in arsenic levels in drinking water that are associated with health risks, making awareness of these levels very important for consumers.

(Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

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