Lower limit for arsenic in drinking water recommended

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services has recommended a more protective limit for the amount of arsenic in drinking water provided by public water systems.

The department proposes a new limit of 5 parts per billion. It has been enforcing a limit of 10 parts per billion, which was established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2006. Before that, the limit was 50 parts per billion.

Last year, the Legislature directed the department to review the regulatory limits for arsenic in drinking water and groundwater and to document their findings in a report. The department intends to work in consultation with the Legislature to lower the drinking water and groundwater standards for arsenic in 2019.

Arsenic is an element that occurs naturally in various rock formations.