Regarding the article on July 14 about corrosive groundwater in Maine (“Federal study highlights corrosive potential of Maine groundwater”), I would like to clarify and comment on several issues.

I am a longtime practicing hydrogeologist and have collected and analyzed hundreds if not thousands of groundwater samples in Maine. The far majority of private wells in Maine provide good tasting, high-quality water with no adverse health effects. Yes, some areas of Maine have elevated arsenic in groundwater from natural sources, but state and federal agencies have done a pretty good job at publicizing this problem and offering solutions.

Keep in mind that Maine’s private wells provide free water to thousands of homes. Along with this benefit comes a responsibility for homeowners to maintain their well, test it as appropriate, and if necessary, treat it. Contrary to Mike Beliveau’s comment, there is no need for the regulation of private wells.

Calling it “the Wild West” because of the “exemption” from regulation is irresponsible and pure hyperbole. There is no exemption for private wells — public water supplies are regulated just like any other public service, such as electricity or sewer. I would guess that a far majority of Mainers do not want the state to tell them what to do with their well and the water they own.

Yes, you heard me right, you essentially own the water beneath your property. Environmental activists like Beliveau should get their facts straight and not try to scare people into a regulatory program that is totally unnecessary and certainly not consistent with the independent nature of Mainers.

Keith Taylor


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