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A brief note on substantial sub-daily arsenic variability in pumping drinking-water wells in New Hampshire

February 13, 2024

Large variations in redox-related water parameters, like pH and dissolved oxygen (DO), have been documented in New Hampshire (United States) drinking-water wells over the course of a few hours under pumping conditions. These findings suggest that comparable sub-daily variability in dissolved concentrations of redox-reactive and toxic arsenic (As) also may occur, representing a potentially critical public-health data gap and a fundamental challenge for long-term As-trends monitoring. To test this hypothesis, discrete groundwater As samples were collected approximately hourly during one day in May and again in August 2019 from three New Hampshire drinking-water wells (2 public-supply, 1 private) under active pumping conditions. Collected samples were assessed by laboratory analysis (total As [AsTot], As(III), As(V)) and by field analysis (AsTot) using a novel integrated biosensor system. Laboratory analysis revealed sub-daily variability (range) in AsTot concentrations equivalent to 16 % – 36 % of that observed in the antecedent 3-year bimonthly trend monitoring. Thus, the results indicated that, along with previously demonstrated seasonality effects, the timing and duration of pumping are important considerations when assessing trends in drinking-water As exposures and concomitant risks. Results also illustrated the utility of the field sensor for monitoring and management of AsTot exposures in near-real-time.

Publication Year 2024
Title A brief note on substantial sub-daily arsenic variability in pumping drinking-water wells in New Hampshire
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2024.170838
Authors Paul M. Bradley, Emily C. Hicks, Joseph P. Levitt, David C. Lloyd, Mhairi M. McDonald, Kristin M. Romanok, Kelly Smalling, Joseph D. Ayotte
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Science of the Total Environment
Index ID 70251974
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization New England Water Science Center; New Jersey Water Science Center; South Atlantic Water Science Center