CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A recently released, long-term study says the quality of groundwater in West Virginia is generally good, but iron, manganese and radon levels are potential concerns.
The 10-year study by the U.S. Geological Survey analyzed raw, untreated water samples from 300 wells for metals, nutrients, volatile organic compounds, fecal indicator bacteria and radon. The study found that the majority of water samples met primary criteria for treated drinking water.
But naturally occurring iron and manganese in more than half the samples exceeded secondary, non-enforceable guidelines for treated drinking water. Radon gas concentrations in water samples from northwest West Virginia and the Eastern Panhandle frequently exceeded a proposed maximum concentration level.
The study primarily sampled public-supply wells. Lead researcher Doug Chambers said private well owners should test their water.