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Northern Health is reminding Peace Region residents who use private water supplies to test their drinking water regularly.

In a press release residents were told to also conduct an annual test for coliform bacteria and E. coli as well as a test for chemical parameters including arsenic every five years.

While community-based water systems are tested regularly, private systems aren’t and it’s the homeowner’s responsibility to test them.

For those living in First Nations Communities, the First Nations Health Authority conducts regular tests to community water systems – including wells.

The advisory is geared towards drinking water as there are no known health effects from hand washing, bathing, or washing clothing in water with an elevated level of arsenic.

The release also warns that Peace Region groundwater can contain levels of naturally occurring arsenic, which is above the Canadian Drinking Water Guideline of 10 micrograms per litre.

If a resident using a private well receives a test that detects a high level of arsenic it is suggested that they conduct a second test to confirm the results. If the level is confirmed, they are then advised to contact an experienced water treatment professional and contain multiple quotes before purchasing a water treatment device. Some products may not remove arsenic from the water.

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