Vital Signs: Is your well water safe to drink?

When Loree Ross had a new well drilled several years ago at her home in Danforth, she ordered a full array of tests. She never expected the results: Her water contained an astounding 160 times the maximum safe level for arsenic. Ross was warned against even showering in her well water.

“You can’t see it, you can’t smell it, you have no idea it’s there,” she said.

One in 10 wells in Maine has elevated levels of arsenic. But most of the state’s private wells haven’t been tested for the toxin. Has yours? Look up test results in your town for clues about what might be lurking in your well.

Is your well water safe to drink? Check test results in your town

Tips for testing your well

Other top health stories this week:

Maine hospitals could face penalties for high rates of infections, complications

Half a dozen Maine hospitals may be penalized by the federal government through the Medicare program. Preventing infections and mistakes has become a top priority, with avoidable hospital errors now the third-leading cause of death in the U.S.

Deal between York Hospital, Mass General could bring Boston medical specialists to Maine

York Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital have signed a clinical affiliation to share resources and expertise in several areas of medical care such as pediatrics, oncology and intensive care.

From our bloggers

Pattie Reaves, After the Couch

18 days until the baby is born … and counting

While everyone tells me I look great (and that feels pretty great) I don’t feel like I did much special, other than rely on the healthy habits I worked on before I got pregnant.

Bobbi McCarthy, Love Nursing

Faith, God and the ER patient

I recently had a patient tell me (after they asked my opinion) that there is no place for religion in the hospital and that it was on the level of separation of church and state… of course I disagree.


Compiled by BDN Health Editor Jackie Farwell

Jackie Farwell

About Jackie Farwell

I'm the health editor for the Bangor Daily News, a Bangor native, a UMaine grad, and a weekend crossword warrior. I never get sick of writing about Maine people, geeking out over health care data, and finding new ways to help you stay well. I live in Gorham with my husband Nick and our hound dog Riley.