Mapping and Characterizing the Arsenic Hazard in Private Well Water Across the Nation

Science Center Objects

Study estimates about 2.1 million people using wells high in arsenic: USGS research directly supports federal agencies concerned with public health—specifically, understanding natural hazards in private domestic drinking water and the risk they pose to human health.

The USGS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are in the process of mapping and characterizing the arsenic hazard in private well water across the Nation. Together, we are developing models that span the Nation so that more complete data can be used to estimate burden of arsenic exposure for the private domestic well use population of the United States. The estimates can then be used to assess areas that are un-sampled as well as to link to human health outcome data (such as cancers and birth outcomes) so that ecological-level studies can be undertaken.

Specifically, this study’s objectives are to:

  • Estimate the probability of having high arsenic in domestic wells across the Nation; and
  • Estimate the population with high-arsenic well water