Well Water Testing for Arsenic

Colby Sawyer Study
Well Water Testing for Arsenic

Nick Baer is the New London Health Director and a professor at Colby Sawyer College. He has been part of a citizen science research project across Maine and New Hampshire for 5 years where homeowners who are on well water are encouraged to test their wells for arsenic and 13 other elements. This is an NIH funded project raising awareness of arsenic in groundwater, getting homeowners to mitigate drinking water issues if they exist and to better understand the patterns of elevated arsenic in the region. As you may know arsenic is part of our geology and can be above safe drinking water standards in this region.

The following is from Nick Baer:
Thank you for your interest in our well water study. The well water sampling kits will be available starting Friday, Oct. 19. Below are the instructions on how to get involved.

Instructions for Arsenic Well Water Sampling

We have our sample kits in the Ivey Science Center Building at Colby-Sawyer College in room 112. If you come in the front door of the building, turn right and walk straight into the room 112 office suite you will see a box of sample kits.

Sample kits and Sampling:

Each manila folder has all you need for your water sample and instructions. Take a sample kit, notice the number written on the outside of the manila envelope AND sign out the kit on the sign out sheet (directly next to the box with your sample number). You must sign out the kit # correctly, or we will not be able to analyze your sample.

Before you sample your well water at home, PLEASE read all the information in the kit. We would like ONLY NON-FILTERED samples as we are trying to assess the well water arsenic levels. If you have a home filtration kit, you can sample the water before the filtration system for a non-filtered sample. If you pick up the kit on a Friday please don’t take your water sample until Sunday or Monday so you can bring it back to us within 24 hours.

Returning Samples:

All samples must be returned to 112 Ivey between 8:00am-5:00pm, and put in the return box in the same manila envelope with your water sample and the forms completely filled out (one is accepting to participate in the study and the other is information about your well system).

Data and Results:

My students will enter the well data into the database so you can just provide the information on the paper form.

You will be able to get the results of your well test (for arsenic and 13
other elements) in December as we will be sending all the homeowner well water samples we collect this fall at one time analysis.

I am happy to answer any questions you might have. Thank you for participating in this study.

Nick Baer
Nicholas A. Baer, Ph. D. Professor and the M. Roy London Endowed Chair
School of Arts and Sciences 541 Main Street
New London, NH 03257
t: 603.526.3066

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