THIS PAGE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION! CHECK BACK SOON!

COA students, collaborators, and local volunteers monitor the groundwater of the MDI region building upon the existing All About Arsenic project initiated by researchers at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL) and Dartmouth College.

Groundwater Quality of the MDI Region of Coastal Maine

Spatial and temporal patterns of groundwater quality:

A view from MDI

College of the Atlantic,

Geoscience

Benjamin Capuano ('23)   Adam Feher ('23)     

Gaby Moroz ('21)              Lenka Slamova ('24)

Isi Munoz Segovia ('22)    Madalyn Adams ('23)


Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory,

Community Lab

Jane Disney

Anna Farrell

Cait Bailey

Hannah Lust


Dartmouth Toxic Metals,

Superfund Research Program

Bruce Stanton


Mount Desert Island Public Schools

Ruth Poland

Hannah Mondrach

Lynn Hanna

All About Arsenic Project Website

All About Arsenic StoryMap

Arsenic In All Seasons

Participant Website

Take home message: While the metasedimenaary rocks of northern and western MDI tend to host higher arsenic groundwater, the granites of central MDI tend to host groundwater with higher uranium concentrations (often correlated with high radon levels in water or air) - both are toxins! No matter which bedrock you live on, be sure to test your private well water to be sure it is safe to drink!

Many folks have filters on their water systems that are meant to remove arsenic from the water. In a few wells we sample the water both pre filter (orange) and post filter (blue) in order to evaluate the efficacy of the filter. In some cases the filter removed all of the arsenic, in some cases it removed some of the arsenic, and in one case it added arsenic to the water!

Study Area: Northern MDI. Pink and purple areas are igneous rocks, green and light blue are metasedimentary rocks, red dashed lines are suspected faults, black are known faults, and yellow circles are approximate well sample locations.

Spatial patterns of bedrock and groundwater chemistry in Northern MDI. On the left is a simplified geologic map. The arsenic and uranium heat maps show higher concentrations in red-white and lower concentrations in green. On both maps the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) is orange indicated by the red arrow.

(placeholder)
(placeholder)

Take home message: Making sure to choose the right filter for your water issues. Maintaining the filter by changing it regularly to ensure it is working properly.

Some folks reported that their wells run dry in late summer, or others reported their wells overflowing in the winter months. For some wells we had both dry season (late summer-fall; orange) and wet season (~late fall-late spring; blue) data. In some wells arsenic levels were higher in the dry season and in some cases it rose above the MCL!

Take home message: It's a good idea to test your well at least twice annually to figure out the best plan for mitigation and maintenance given potential varations thoughout the year.

Finding that arsenic varied seasonally (in some cases the concentration more than doubled) inspired us to do a focused seasonality study: Arsenic in All Seasons, which is underway now.

ME CDC

Well Water Info

ME Labs

Order Testing Kits

Collaborators:

Arsenic in All Seasons:

Seasonality affects on drinking water quality

See a talk featuring some preliminary data from this study!

Project Presentations To Date

Project Presentations To Date

Geological Society of America, October 2020

Gaby Moroz:

Spatial and temporal patterns of arsenic contamination on northern Mount Desert Island, Maine (Poster presentation)


Isi Muñoz Segovia:

Pathways of arsenic ingestion in Maine: Data to Action (Poster presentation)



Science Cafe, MDIBL,

January 2020

Sarah Hall:

Spatial patterns of groundwater quality: A view from MDI (Public Talk)


DataLit Teacher Institute, MDIBL, January 2020

Sarah Hall:

Spatial patterns of groundwater quality around the MDI region (Workshop Talk)



Geological Society of American, Northeastern Section Meeting, April 2021

Sarah Hall:

Spatial and temporal patterns of private well water quality: A view from Mt. Desert Island, ME.


A similar presentation was given at the Maine Sustainability and Water Conference along with others in the All About Arseinc session: videos available here.



Summer Student Symposium, MDIBL, August 2021

Adam Feher:

Arsenic abundance in argula and kale


Lenka Slamova:


Do the orchard soils of northern Mount Desert Island harbor residuals of historical arsenical pesticide use?







Maine Sustainability and Water Conference and Geologic Society of Maine, April 2022

Ben Capuano:

Precipitation-mediated fluctuations of well water arsenic in Hancock County, ME


Adam Feher:

Arsenic abundance in argula and kale



Ludwin Moran:


Influence of diffrerent water treatment systems on arsenic concentrations in private well water: A view from MDI, ME



Lenka Slamova:


Do the orchard soils of northern Mount Desert Island harbor residuals of historical arsenical pesticide use?






Back to top

Arsenic In All Seasons

Participant Website

Click to see a recorded presentation of this poster

Maine Drought Task Force: Report a Dry Private Well Here!