College of the Atlantic and MDI Biological Laboratory are now testing water samples for arsenic l...College of the Atlantic and MDI Biological Laboratory are now testing water samples for arsenic levels. Credit: Waters Corporation

A partnership between a local lab and MDI schools is aiming to see how seasonal factors could change arsenic levels in drinking water more than we realize.

“This project has a lot of potential to educate kids, get them excited about science, but also to protect public health,” said Jane Disney, Ph.D., the director of education at MDI Biological Laboratory.

Since 2018, MDI Biological Laboratory in Bar Harbor has been working with schools to test arsenic levels in well water. Now thanks to a supplemental grant of more than $150,000, they’ll look at how arsenic levels vary across the changing seasons.

One of the schools involved is College of the Atlantic.

“People have told us that sometimes their wells are dry in August and so that different volume of water might result in a different concentration of arsenic,” said Sarah Hall, Ph.D., a member of the earth sciences faculty at College of the Atlantic.

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