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5/12/2017 by mdc
Tony Spinelli reports that The Wilton Health Department is nearly finished with a database of all well contamination reports and water quality information to provide an overview of problematic areas in town, as far as groundwater is concerned.

Groundwater is an issue because many homes in town obtain water from private wells. Contaminants discovered in wells by the health department in the past couple of years, in cooperation with the state Department of Public Health, include uranium and arsenic.

The U.S. Geological Survey issued a separate report reiterating what had already been known about the well water in Wilton. Wells in Stamford and Weston also exceed the safety threshold set by the federal EPA for arsenic and uranium, according to published reports.

The local health department tested 80 wells in the spring of 2015. Both arsenic and uranium are claimed to be toxic and may have a variety of adverse health effects if people are exposed at high enough levels and for a long period of time.

The EPA drinking water standard or action level for arsenic is 10 parts per billion. Of the 80 wells tested, arsenic was detected in seven groundwater samples, and two wells exceeded the action level. Arsenic has no smell or taste and is classified as a human cancer-causing agent. Arsenic has been associated with increased risk of lung, bladder and skin cancers.

Thirty-three of the 80 wells had some level of uranium in them naturally. The action level for uranium in drinking water is 30 parts per billion. Six of the 80 wells exceeded the uranium action level, but nine out of 10 had uranium levels below the action level.

Uranium is naturally present in bedrock, so deep bedrock wells are susceptible to contamination and shallow wells are less susceptible.For wells that have unacceptable levels of arsenic, it can be removed with a special filtration system. Carbon filters can be effective.

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