Seasonal Variation of Water Quality in Unregulated Domestic Wells
AuthorOrnelas Van Horne, Yoshira
Reynolds, Kelly A
Beamer, Paloma I
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Mel & Enid Zuckerman Coll Publ Hlth
Univ Arizona, Dept Soil Water & Environm Sci
Univ Arizona, Dept Chem & Biochem
MetadataShow full item record
CitationOrnelas Van Horne, Y., Parks, J., Tran, T., Abrell, L., Reynolds, K. A., & Beamer, P. I. (2019). Seasonal Variation of Water Quality in Unregulated Domestic Wells. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(9), 1569.
RightsCopyright © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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AbstractIn the United States (U.S.), up to 14% of the population depend on private wells as their primary drinking water source. The U.S. government does not regulate contaminants in private wells. The goals of this study were to investigate the quality of drinking water from unregulated private wells within one mile (1.6 kilometers) of an effluent-dominated river in the arid Southwest, determine differences in contaminant levels between wet and dry seasons, and identify contributions from human sources by specifically measuring man-made organic contaminants (perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfate (PFOS), and sucralose). Samples were collected during two dry seasons and two wet seasons over the course of two years and analyzed for microbial (Escherichia coli), inorganic (arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nitrate), and synthetic organic (PFOA, PFOS, and sucralose) contaminants. Arsenic, nitrate, and Escherichia coli concentrations exceeded their respective regulatory levels of 0.01 mg/L, 10 mg/L, and 1 colony forming unit (CFU)/100 mL, respectively. The measured concentrations of PFOA and PFOS exceeded the respective Public Health Advisory level. Arsenic, PFOA, PFOS, and sucralose were significantly higher during the dry seasons, whereas E. coli was higher during the wet seasons. While some contaminants were correlated (e.g., As and Hg ρ = 0.87; PFOA and PFOS ρ = 0.45), the lack of correlation between different contaminant types indicates that they may arise from different sources. Multi-faceted interventions are needed to reduce exposure to drinking water above health-based guidelines.
NoteOpen access journal
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsUnited States Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Justice small grants program [00T77601-0]; University of Arizona UNESCO Chair Graduate Assistantship; NIEHS [P30 ES006694]; Agnes Nelms Haury Program in Environmental and Social Justice at the University of Arizona; [T32 ES007091]
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