The Maine Department of Human Health and Services recommends homeowners with wells have their water tested comprehensively. Uranium and arsenic head a list of potential contaminants that can cause health problems when consumed, but the list of organic and inorganic substances to be wary of is long.

In an effort to educate homeowners to the potential hazards, the state offers wellwater.maine.gov, a Web site with brochures for downloading and links to private and public labs that test water. The Web site also has links directing homeowners on what to do if contaminants are found.

Basic tests for water quality range from about $20 to $70, varying on the amount of substances screened.

The Environmental Health Unit operated by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services can be reached at (866) 292-3474. The unit helps callers interpret water test results.

What to do if uranium levels are above 30 parts per billion per liter of water:

– Switch to an alternative source of water for drinking and cooking.

– Test the water for other contaminants, especially arsenic and radon.

– Research which system will best filter or remove uranium from the water. Visit wellwater.maine.gov for advice on treatment and links to companies for testing and water treatment.

– After installing a treatment system, test the water again to ensure the system works.


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