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Know Anything About Groundwater Pollution? (long) #4488585
08/14/17 04:56 PM
08/14/17 04:56 PM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 756
Ohio
GrtArtiste Offline OP
GrtArtiste  Offline OP
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 756
Ohio
In 1926 my ancestors acquired a 180 acre farm in Green Oak Twp MI (near Brighton) not far from the Huron River and a house that was built in 1915 (which still exists). No one knows who the previous owners were or how the land was used. My grandparents & great-grandparents grew crops which were mainly corn and alfalfa, and they had their own cows-hogs-sheep-chickens-etc. My grandparents had seven kids on that farm and the farming continued until the mid 1950s. Three of those kids are still alive including my mother who is 84 and two uncles...one is 90 and the other is almost 93. My grandfather lived to be 90, my grandmother 86.

FF to 2017. I have a cousin who has been living in the farmhouse since approx 1991. She is being treated for leukemia and we know that it is hereditary because four members of her mother’s family also had the disease. However, during the course of her chemo it was discovered that my cousin has been ingesting arsenic...how much, I don’t know. After investigation, it was determined that the arsenic is in the well water at the farmhouse. The well water has been deemed unsafe for drinking or cooking.

Now, the question is this: If the site was not contaminated when my ancestors acquired it, what might they have done (probably unintentionally) to introduce arsenic into the well water? Could it have been a fertilizer that was used? My second thought is the Huron River. A lot or war production took place in that general area during the 1940s and maybe someone wasn’t too careful about what chemicals got dumped into the water.

I’m sure there is more to this story but this is all I know at this time. When my grandparents passed, the land was parceled out for home-building and perhaps 200 homes within a two mile radius have been built there since 1991 and they are all drawing water from a well.


Last edited by GrtArtiste; 08/14/17 05:07 PM.
Re: Know Anything About Groundwater Pollution? (long) [Re: GrtArtiste] #4488591
08/14/17 05:05 PM
08/14/17 05:05 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 9,627
out there
spasm3 Offline
spasm3  Offline
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 9,627
out there
Lead arsenate was used as a crop pesticide until around the 50's. How deep is the well?

Last edited by spasm3; 08/14/17 05:06 PM.

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Re: Know Anything About Groundwater Pollution? (long) [Re: GrtArtiste] #4488598
08/14/17 05:17 PM
08/14/17 05:17 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 4,152
New England
madRiver Offline
madRiver  Offline
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 4,152
New England
Arsenic can be naturally occurring or introduced.

Has the well ever been tested? Portion of the homes in my area have it naturally occurring in my town. They used to mine for it here. It is a treatable condition in well water.

Re: Know Anything About Groundwater Pollution? (long) [Re: spasm3] #4488600
08/14/17 05:19 PM
08/14/17 05:19 PM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 756
Ohio
GrtArtiste Offline OP
GrtArtiste  Offline OP
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 756
Ohio
I do not know how deep the well is, but if I had to place a bet I'd say that the depth is only as deep as was absolutely necessary.

Re: Know Anything About Groundwater Pollution? (long) [Re: GrtArtiste] #4488604
08/14/17 05:22 PM
08/14/17 05:22 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 7,002
...
PimTac Offline
PimTac  Offline
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 7,002
...
Community wells are highly regulated and for good reasons. There must be periodic testing though if I was a homeowner there, I would have my water tested independently.

Were the test samples taken in different locations? Ex; kitchen faucet and right at the well. Also as mentioned above, well depth will play a big role here. Another idea would be to test the river water as well.


Cannot see signatures any longer so it doesn’t matter.
Re: Know Anything About Groundwater Pollution? (long) [Re: GrtArtiste] #4488605
08/14/17 05:23 PM
08/14/17 05:23 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 67
Hamburg Michigan
Elevguy Offline
Elevguy  Offline
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 67
Hamburg Michigan
I live a couple of miles from there my well tested good

Re: Know Anything About Groundwater Pollution? (long) [Re: GrtArtiste] #4488606
08/14/17 05:23 PM
08/14/17 05:23 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,854
Jupiter, Florida
Cujet Offline
Cujet  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,854
Jupiter, Florida
I live in South Florida and have a shallow well. The water transit time is measured in hours. When it rains, any contaminates are carried down through the sands and then drawn in by the well. After the Japanese reactor melted down, the winds carried the isotopes near here and they were measurable in the puddles, even at my house. I was very concerned about contamination. However, it seems most of the radiation went North of us and my water does not set off my meter. Either through dilution or the minimal levels, I can't measure it.

However, the local soil is known to hold contaminates at fully elevated levels for decades and in some cases, a half century. The pesticides and fertilizers used around here have accumulated in certain catch basins.

In many areas, arsenic exists naturally in the water supply. In other words it's (unfortunately) normal to have high levels in some areas.

Last edited by Cujet; 08/14/17 05:24 PM.

People who count on their fingers should maintain a discreet silence.
Re: Know Anything About Groundwater Pollution? (long) [Re: GrtArtiste] #4488607
08/14/17 05:24 PM
08/14/17 05:24 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 33,799
ME
eljefino Offline
eljefino  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 33,799
ME
Wife does groundwater pollution for a living.

Arsenic gets your kidneys not your blood but it could be some other chemical.

Re: Know Anything About Groundwater Pollution? (long) [Re: GrtArtiste] #4488610
08/14/17 05:26 PM
08/14/17 05:26 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,971
Sequim, WA
edhackett Online content
edhackett  Online Content
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,971
Sequim, WA
Were there any smelters in the area in the past? Stack emissions of copper smelters contain a lot of arsenic that can contaminate the soil and groundwater. Arsenic can occur naturally in groundwater, although that is more common out here in the West. Doing some soil sampling may be in order to help locate the source.

Do you know the level of arsenic found in the water? That would be helpful to know to see how severe the problem is. As was mentioned, a well into a deeper aquifer may be needed.

Ed


Never attribute to engineers that into which politicians, lawyers, accountants, and marketeers have poked their fingers.
Re: Know Anything About Groundwater Pollution? (long) [Re: GrtArtiste] #4488620
08/14/17 05:32 PM
08/14/17 05:32 PM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 104
Pennsylvania
bugeye Offline
bugeye  Offline
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 104
Pennsylvania
The arsenic may be from the rock strata in the ground. Perhaps Michigan state government has an environmental agency with information on the soil conditions.

Re: Know Anything About Groundwater Pollution? (long) [Re: GrtArtiste] #4488622
08/14/17 05:33 PM
08/14/17 05:33 PM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 756
Ohio
GrtArtiste Offline OP
GrtArtiste  Offline OP
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 756
Ohio
I have included all the info that I know so far. I will post further if more info becomes available. Thanks for your interest.

Re: Know Anything About Groundwater Pollution? (long) [Re: GrtArtiste] #4488631
08/14/17 05:45 PM
08/14/17 05:45 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 378
Ceciltucky Maryland
Oldtom Offline
Oldtom  Offline
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 378
Ceciltucky Maryland
A reverse osmosis system will remove 99% plus of the arsenic and is cheap and easy to maintain. RO systems do waste water in that they produce about 4 gallons of waste water for every gallon of drinking water. This does not matter with a well. My relatives lived in Queenstown MD and many wells there have arsenic due to chicken farming. Chickens were fed arsenic compounds and the manure was widely used as fertilizer. My FIL installed an RO system and the filtered water tested free of arsenic. Pure Water Products of Denton TX has dedicated arsenic filters that may help. Sorry for your situation.

Re: Know Anything About Groundwater Pollution? (long) [Re: GrtArtiste] #4488637
08/14/17 05:53 PM
08/14/17 05:53 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 1,600
NY, USA, etc.
oilpsi2high Offline
oilpsi2high  Offline
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 1,600
NY, USA, etc.
How do you know it's from the groundwater? Your pipes, depending on material, could be leaching arsenic and lead. Especially if they are as old as the house.

Re: Know Anything About Groundwater Pollution? (long) [Re: GrtArtiste] #4488683
08/14/17 06:44 PM
08/14/17 06:44 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 603
Upstate NY
Wheel Offline
Wheel  Offline
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 603
Upstate NY
I'd check with others nearby about their wellwater. My suspicion is that it's naturally occurring in the ground. It is not unusual for wells to change over time, especially if there has been nearby development that may make some veins work differently in your well.

That said, many states do have lists of contamination sites from the giant to tiny.

What sort of well do you have, drilled, dug, driven ?


2009 Subaru Legacy (N/A)
Castrol Edge and Subie (Fram) filter
Re: Know Anything About Groundwater Pollution? (long) [Re: GrtArtiste] #4488686
08/14/17 06:47 PM
08/14/17 06:47 PM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,412
VA
Rhymingmechanic Offline
Rhymingmechanic  Offline
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,412
VA
According to the Michigan DEQ, Livingston County groundwater averages well above the EPA's recommended limit. The information here, at least, doesn't offer much about sources except to say arsenic can be naturally occurring. Check the first two links for basic information. The county map gives more detail about tested sites.

http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,4561,7-135-3313_3675_3690-76500--,00.html

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