LISLE, Ill., April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A report released last week by the US Geological Survey showing that one in five private wells in Pennsylvania face elevated arsenic levels offers powerful incentive to test and ensure treatment, according to the Water Quality Association. "There is hardly any issue more important than clean and healthy water, and this study sends a signal to well owners that they must empower themselves with testing and treatment," said Dave Haataja, executive director of WQA. According to the USGS, "Eight percent of more than 5,000 wells tested across Pennsylvania contain groundwater with levels of arsenic at or above federal standards set for public drinking water, while an additional 12 percent – though not exceeding standards – show elevated levels of arsenic." The results highlight the importance of private well owners "testing and potentially treating their water," the USGS stated. While public water supplies are treated to ensure that water reaching the tap of households meets federal drinking water standards, private wells are unregulated in Pennsylvania, and owners are responsible for testing and treating their own water, the agency noted. Arsenic is potentially a very harmful and even fatal contaminant that can cause damage with immediate consumption or over the long term. Treatment options include reverse osmosis systems, specialty media, and distillation systems. How do you know the products will work? The first step is to talk with a water professional. The second step is selecting a product that is tested and certified. The association offers certification for trained professionals to help give consumers confidence about the knowledge and ethical standards of local dealers, who can be found through "Find A Water Professional" at wqa.org. The seal on a product means it has been tested and certified for effectiveness. WQA uses independent standards established by the NSF International/American National Standards Institute (NSF/ANSI). Products that have passed testing can be found at wqa.org.