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Posted on: September 30, 2021

2021 Well Water Testing Program

The Town of Bar Harbor is providing a well water testing program in collaboration with the MDI Biological Laboratory, Conners Emerson School, College of the Atlantic and Defend Our Health. This year’s program will focus on testing private wells for arsenic. Arsenic is naturally occurring in many Maine wells and is a significant health threat, causing cancer, heart disease, immune dysfunction, and developmental delays in children.

Test kits will be made available for Bar Harbor residents that utilize private wells for their drinking water. COA students will be available to conduct sampling for those residents that might need their assistance. There will be multiple locations for people to pick up and return test kits. Test kits have been donated by Defend Our Health, a Portland, ME based non-profit.

Sample kits will be available for pick-up from Lynn Hanna at Conners-Emerson school or the Bar Harbor Planning Department office between October 25th and November 1st. Well water samples must be returned by November 2nd. College of the Atlantic faculty and students will schedule deliveries of kits to households using private well water in Bar Harbor where well owners request this service. This at home sampling service will be available during Oct 18th-Nov 1st. (Reservations must be made by Oct 28th)

More information about arsenic in Maine drinking water will be available on voting day, Nov. 2nd, at the Municipal Building. Any kits that have not already been dropped off at designated locations, can be brought to the Municipal Building by 5pm on that day. 

Contact Mike Gurtler, Local Health Officer (mgurtler@barharbormail.gov) for information about the Bar Harbor well water monitoring initiative and pick-up of sample kits at the Bar Harbor Planning Department office, Lynn Hanna (lhanna@mdirss.org) about pick up and drop off at Conners-Emerson school, and Sarah Hall (shall@coa.edu) about at home sampling in Bar Harbor. Contact Jane Disney (jdisney@mdibl) for more information on the school-based citizen science program called “All About Arsenic”. For more information about Defend Our Health, contact Sergio Cahueque (scahueque@defendourhealth.org)

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