North Iowa Water Company is committed to assisting our customer in understanding potential contaminates in their private water wells. We have been involved with the issue of arsenic in water wells since the Federal Environmental Protection Agency lowered the allowable level in public wells from 50 parts per billion to 10 parts per billion.
Private wells are not required by law to reach the allowable level but common sense motivates most private well owners to at least test for the presence of arsenic. Cerro Gordo County has been testing for arsenic at a cost of $20. The county test does report the total arsenic but not the breakdown between arsenic III and arsenic V, many times stated as AS III and AS V. The speciation test (breakdown) cost is $50.
The breakdown becomes important because AS V is easily removed by Reverse Osmosis filtration but AS III must be converted to AS V by oxidation. Oxidation is generally accomplished by using a Stenner pump and household bleach. It should be noted that bleach is detrimental to the membrane in reverse osmosis so the bleach is filtered out before the water reaches the unit.
Other filtration units are available but determination has to be made as to the desired use of the water, available space, presence of iron or phosphates in the water, and quantity of water desired. North Iowa Water has experience in all these areas and is available to assist you in removing arsenic from your water.