Income-eligible households whose well water exceeds threshold can seek grants
For Immediate Release
Deborah Turcotte, Public Information Manager
Daniel Drost, Director of Energy and Housing Services
AUGUSTA – High levels of arsenic continue to be found in well water, especially in wells tested in three Maine counties – Cumberland, Kennebec, and Hancock. But how do you know if it is in your water? And what do you do to fix the problem, particularly if you’re of lower income?
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s wellwater.maine.gov website explains why it is important to test your water and how to do it. And if the results show arsenic levels greater than 10 ug/L, MaineHousing’s Arsenic Abatement Program offers financial assistance to eligible households to remediate the problem. Learn more at www.mainehousing.org.
Abatement is important to provide clean drinking water, especially to households with children under 7 years of age or pregnant women who live or spend a considerable amount of time in the house.
Under the Arsenic Abatement Program, single-family homeowners whose private well water is being tested or was tested within the last 12 months can apply for financial assistance for remediation systems. Households must show test results from a certified lab that indicate arsenic levels greater than 10 ug/L. The grants are limited to homeowners whose income is at or below 80 percent of an area’s median income.
It’s quick and easy to test your well water.
- First, find a certified well water testing lab. A list is provided here – wellwater.maine.gov or call 1-866-292-3474.
- Second, call the lab and order a test kit. Prices may vary depending on the level of tests you are requesting to be done on your well water.
- Third, fill test kit bottles with tap water and fill out the forms included with the kit.
- Fourth, return water bottles to the lab via mail or drop them off in person.
For helpful information on how to test your well water, watch “How to Test Your Well Water,” a video from the Maine CDC, at youtube.com/user/MainePublic Health.
The grants go directly to the vendor upon satisfactory completion and/or installation of arsenic remediation systems at the point of access to well water or the point of water use. The program does not cover replacement filters, system maintenance, remediation activities done prior to MaineHousing approval, or pre-remediation water testing.
Between 1999 and 2013, approximately 58 percent of the homeowners from seven communities in Cumberland, Hancock, and Kennebec counties who submitted well water samples for testing at the Maine CDC’s lab received results that showed arsenic levels exceeding 10 ug/L. That was 1,873 wells out of 3,234 tested.
For more information on MaineHousing’s Arsenic Abatement Program, please visit www.mainehousing.org and select “Arsenic Abatement” on the home page, or call 207-626-4600 or 1-800-452-4668 or Maine Relay 711.
For more information on why it’s important to test your water, please visit wellwater.maine.gov.
The mission of MaineHousing is to assist Maine people to obtaining and maintaining quality affordable housing and services suitable to their housing needs. Please visit our Web site at www.mainehousing.org.
MaineHousing does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, or familial status in the admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs, and activities. MaineHousing will provide appropriate communication auxiliary aids and services upon sufficient notice. MaineHousing will also provide this document in alternative formats upon sufficient notice. MaineHousing has designated the following person responsible for coordinating compliance with applicable federal and state nondiscrimination requirements and addressing grievances: Louise Patenaude, MaineHousing, 353 Water Street, Augusta, Maine 04330-4633, Telephone Number 1‑800‑452‑4668 (voice in state only),(207) 626‑4600 (voice), or Maine Relay 711.