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Photo by Sachin Khadka / Unsplash

Host: Analies Ross-Dyjak
Guest: Christina Liu | Science Team Head | Hydroviv
Category: 🔬 Research

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[1:13] AR: “Well water is unique, because a lot of the contaminants come from natural or naturally occurring sources. […] The two most common [are] arsenic and uranium. […] When people hear [uranium], they think of toxic waste, [the] yellow toxic symbol, […] but that's not necessarily the case.”

[5:38] CL: “A lot of times people say […] my well is really deep, so my water is safe, [so] it's not going to get […] contaminants […]. But unfortunately, with contaminants like PFAS, it gets in just about everywhere.

[9:47] CL: “What we recommend for people who own a well is to use some kind of a continuous disinfection system [to take care of biological contaminants, like e. coli]. And there are many different types. You can do just a simple auto chlorinator or there's also ozone, there's iodine. And the one that I personally like best because you're not adding anything to the water is UV. And UV will just kill the microorganisms.”

[11:36] AR: “Groundwater, especially in the East Coast and Northeast part of the United States can be extremely corrosive. The USGS has this wonderful map that I would definitely recommend checking out. [It] shows different areas of the country and how corrosive the groundwater is in these different areas. Corrosive water creates lead pipes to leach. And we saw this in Flint, Michigan, and Washington, DC, we see it everywhere around the country, actually. […] So if you're living in a home that was built before lead pipes and plumbing were kind of phased out in the US [in] 1986, […] there's a very high likelihood that you have lead pipes or fixtures.”

[15:11] CL: “People worry about nitrates if they are in areas that are highly agricultural, with lots of fertilizer and that runoff. And as a well, you're not going to necessarily get the surface water runoff, but some of that the nitrates could get into the groundwater and I certainly would understand why people would be concerned. Health-wise, the issues with nitrates are a little more specific. But if people are worried we just we definitely advise people to talk to their health care provider. […] In infants it can be very problematic.”

[15:26] AR: “[Arsenic] is just one of those contaminants that is really all over the US, but there are some hotspots. So there's the arsenic belt in New England, and then parts of the southwestern area in the United States, so Arizona, New Mexico, and California are all areas where arsenic is extremely problematic. And it has everything to do with the bedrock. […] And so because arsenic is naturally occurring, the concentrations can change over time. […] I think the the biggest takeaway for private well users […] is that the one time test that you get when you buy your house on a private well isn't necessarily going to give you a full scope of information that you need to make a decision about your drinking water.”

Rating: 💧💧

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple
🕰️ 21 min | 🗓️ 12/15/2021
✅ Time saved: 19 min

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