Could you be one of millions in the U.S. drinking toxic well water?

We are 12- to 13-year-old student members of the Water-Those? First Lego League Robotics Team of Kennebunk. The task that we were presented with, in addition to building and programming a robot, was to identify a problem related to water and create an innovative solution. The problem that we decided to look into is arsenic-contaminated well water.

Arsenic is a toxic chemical that has severe health effects on people who ingest water laden with arsenic amounts over the federal limit of 10 parts per billion. Arsenic gets into well water if the well is drilled through bedrock containing the chemical. Some of the terrible effects of drinking this water include lung, skin and bladder cancer as well as cardiovascular disease. These are just some of its deadly effects.

There is a large problem in the state of Maine regarding arsenic in well water. More than 50 percent of people with wells don’t even test them for dangerous chemicals like arsenic. The public’s lack of knowledge of this issue plays a huge role in this crisis.

However, there are test kits available that you can buy from many stores and online. But, yet again, people just don’t know about this whole problem.

It is, most certainly, necessary for everyone to test their wells for arsenic. It could make a world of a difference in the life of loved ones. Are you part of the 50 percent of Mainers who don’t test their well water for arsenic? Could you or your loved ones be suffering because of this terrible issue?

Maya Flores

on behalf of the Water-Those? First Lego League Robotics Team of Kennebunk