Towns to offer free well water arsenic testing

Nov 29, 2017

The Camden and Rockport Conservation Committees have teamed up to offer 150 free arsenic well tests to community members with residential well water. At a joint meeting in early November, both boards agreed to use their budgeted funds to provide the free program.

According to the Maine Center for Disease Control, in Knox County one in five wells has too much arsenic. Arsenic has no taste or odor. People exposed to arsenic for an extended period of time are more likely to get lung, skin and/or bladder cancer. High exposure has also been linked to low birthweights and affected brain development. Other side-effects include stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet and changes in skin.

The program is in conjunction with the Maine State Housing Authority  grants for eligible homeowners with private well water who are able to show high levels of arsenic contamination. The grants available provide either point-of-access remediation or point-of-use remediation systems. The arsenic testing, which typically costs $20, was not included in the MSHA grant, although other programs do exist that will waive the fees if income guidelines are met.

Testing for arsenic in well water is recommended every three to five years. It is easy to do and takes less than 10 minutes.

To participate in this program, pick up a sterile bottle and instructions at Camden Rockport Middle School, Camden Rockport Elementary School, Camden or Rockport town office, or at Maine Water on Route 17 in Rockport.

The free arsenic kits will be available through Dec. 31.

For more information, email or call Marci Casas at 318-0131 and/or Community Development Director Jamie Francomano at or call 236-0989.

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