Water Contaminants

Please scroll through this page to view helpful information on various well water contaminants.

Arsenic & Uranium

The Glastonbury Health Department supports the recent Department of Public Health (DPH) announcement that private well owners in Connecticut should test their well for arsenic and uranium. These naturally occurring metals are found in groundwater in sporadic locations across the state and can lead to adverse health effects.  DPH has reported that, “While the distribution of contaminated wells has been sporadic, there have been enough findings statewide to prompt recommended testing for both metals in all Connecticut towns.” If levels are found to be higher than state or federal criteria, homeowners have a number of effective treatment options to lower levels of the metals to less concerning levels.  

DPH is recommending wells should be tested at the time of sale of the home and also when a new well is drilled. Wells should be tested again every 5 years. The cost for testing for both metals can range between $75-115. Tests for arsenic and uranium are not usually part of a standard well analysis. Homeowners will need to specifically ask labs to analyze for these metals.

Arsenic and uranium are metals that occur naturally in bedrock all over the world. When groundwater comes in contact with the bedrock, the metals may leach out and contaminate private wells. Both metals are considered toxic and can have a variety of adverse health effects if people are exposed at high enough levels and for a long period of time. Previous sampling in Glastonbury has found sporadic occurrences of arsenic in the groundwater but the prevalence of uranium in well water is not known in town. 

Arsenic is classified as a human cancer-causing agent, which has been associated with increased risk of lung, bladder and skin cancers. The type of uranium found in groundwater is not considered a radioactive risk and is therefore not a major cancer concern. However, the toxicity of the uranium metal has been associated with adverse effects on kidney function.

Uranium Resources for Residents

Uranium Update - 9/9/2019

The Town Council discussed private wells, uranium levels, and public water service at its Council meeting on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 (7:00 pm in Council Chambers).  Meeting documents can be viewed here on the Sept 10 Council meeting web page

Uranium Testing Update and Location Map - 5/19/2019:

The Town is continuing to take action regarding elevated levels of uranium recently identified in some private wells in the Glastonbury community.  This year, more than 600 homes have been tested to date through the Town’s testing efforts, and more than 500 results have been received back from the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health Laboratory.  The remaining test results are expected within the next few weeks, and will be forwarded to property owners as soon as they are recorded in the Health Department.    

Using results from the water tests, the Town has created a map showing the location and amount of uranium in tested wells.  Elevated levels are associated with the underlying Glastonbury Gneiss bedrock, which is present throughout town. 

 Updated 11/21/19 with new map. Click here to view new map. 

Residents are encouraged to continue to share their own well water sample results with Glastonbury Health Director, Wendy Mis, to support the map’s development

The Town is in discussions with the public water companies serving Glastonbury to explore the potential for extending the public water lines in broadly affected neighborhoods.  Glastonbury will also be submitting an application to the CT Drinking Water State Revolving Fund for a loan, which would support a technical study of factors that could impact expansion of public water systems.  More information will be made available through the town website as it becomes available. 

To stay up-to-date on this effort and other matters of public health, please visit www.glastonbury-ct.gov/enotify and subscribe to "Public Health" updates or contact the Health Department at (860) 652-7534.

Testing Centers*

Glastonbury Health staff have learned that uranium in well water can be tested in select laboratories throughout the state, including the following:

Aquatek
77 Kreiger Ln., Unit #908
Glastonbury, CT 06033
(860) 633-7008
Hours:  M-F 11:00am – 3:00pm
Cost for Uranium and Arsenic: $115
Turnaround time: 3 working days.  

The sampling protocol is as follows: 

  • Draw the sample from a non-leaking, inside cold-water tap
  • Run cold water for at least 5 minutes prior to collection
  • Wash hands prior to collection
  • Remove attachments such as aerators or screens from faucet
  • Fill bottle to the top, and cap bottle securely
  • Try to avoid drawing from cold/hot mixing faucets or from a hose
  • Deliver sample(s) to the lab as soon as possible, no later than 24 hours from collection

Aquatek has provided several sample kits to the Health Department.  Residents who would like to test their water can pick up the kits at the Health Department, collect their own water sample, then deliver the sample, paperwork, and payment, to Aquatek on Kreiger Lane.  They have a drop box in front for after hours.   

Envirotech
77 Cook Hill Rd., Windsor, CT
(860) 688-7249
Hours: M-F, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Cost: Uranium - $75; Arsenic - $25
Turnaround time: 4 working days

For after hours: There’s a drop-box on front porch; fill out the information and leave a check

  • Bring the sample in your own clean container – must be at least 12 oz. & can use a water bottle
  • Let the water run for a few minutes before you take the sample

Tunxis Laboratories
100 Northwest Dr., Plainville, CT
(860) 793-8866
Hours: M-F  8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Turnaround time: 5 working days
Cost: Uranium - $50; Arsenic - $25 

  • Bring the sample in your own clean container – must be at least 1 pint & can use a water bottle
  • Let the water run for a few minutes before you take the sample
  • Bring in the same day as you collect the water
  • There is no sign out front for the lab. The sign reads "Loureiro Engineering". Enter the front door and someone will direct you

Click for a list of in-state laboratories certified to test for Arsenic (As) and Uranium (U).

*This list was updated 2/25/2019

Water Treatment Companies

Our office has created a list of water treatment companies in the area but there are certainly many more that are available to treat your well water.

Educational Seminar

In April of 2018, the Health Department hosted an educational seminar for residents concerned with uranium levels in their well water. Speakers included an Epidemiologist and Sanitary Engineer from the CT Department of Health, who provided an overview of what levels of uranium should be of concern, as well as potential health affects related to uranium in well water.  A representative from Hydropure Water Treatment Company then spoke to the various systems residents can install to remove uranium from their well water.  Click here to view the recorded Uranium in Well Water Presentation from April 2018.

Additional Contaminants

Radium in Water

Radon in Water

Radon in Air

1,2-Dichloropropane

1,2 Dichloropropane also known as propylene dichloride was used in the past as a soil fumigant for a variety of crops.  This use has been discontinued, and pesticide formulations containing propylene dichloride are no longer available in the United States.

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