Dozens of wells in Stamford are contaminated with uranium, according to the Stamford Department of Health.
The city has received test results for 60 wells and determined that 42 of them tested positive for uranium. Of the wells that tested positive, 16 were at or above acceptable levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to Anne Fountain, Stamford's Director of Health & Social Services.
Stamford officials are now urging residents to sign up to have their wells tested.
“Exposure to uranium can have potentially harmful health effects and we are urging everyone to sign up and have their wells tested. The only way to know if you have uranium in your water is to have your water tested at a state certified testing laboratory,” Fountain said.
The city decided to do testing after learning other communities had discovered high levels of uranium and arsenic in wells, according to a news release. The release did not specify which other communities had wells that tested positive for contaminants.
Both uranium and arsenic are metals that occur naturally in bedrock in the ground.
Uranium toxicity can have long-term effects on kidney function, according to the Connecticut Department of Public Health.
“It is important to point out the health risks [from arsenic and uranium] are usually long-term risks and chronic, and may not be noticed for years,” said state Epidemiologist Brian Toal.
Residents with wells that test positive for uranium at levels above the accepted norm are urged to stop drinking and cooking with the water until it can be treated. According to city health officials, residents can use a filtration system. A reverse osmosis system or an ion-exchange system are recommended by the officials.
Those who wish to sign up for testing should call 203-977-0816. The cost of the test is $100.