There is arsenic in the Gay sands.  This is known from the mineralogy of the Mohawk mines, which all contained significant arsenides.  Whenever toxic materials are present at the surface they should be evaluated and investigated as possible threats to water quality.

Links about Arsenic in Water


EPA web page providing information on arsenic in drinking water


UN Food and Agriculture Organization web age with information on arsenic contamination


USGS web page on Arsenic in groundwater in the US


WaterAid pdf file on Arsenic in Bangladesh (also found on web page list of water quality data sheets)


World Health Organization web page providing information on arsenic in drinking water

Citizen scientists! Take charge of water quality issues.  Any citizen may request water quality analyses.  Many analyses are performed at no charge.  In every region there are regional drinking water testing labs.  In Houghton there is one on the MTU campus (MDCH Upper Peninsula Laboratory Ms. Patricia Wheeler P.O. Box 38 Houghton, MI 49931 Phone:(906) 482-3011 Fax:(906) 482-7550 Email:  Last summer we submitted three water samples from the Gay and Torch Lake Sands for Arsenic analyses:


Gay Sands, sample 1

collected about 4 feet from large pool on stamp sands where we did the trash pump/ alluvial fan experiment. Shallow pit was dug to let water accumulate, water was collected in a plastic cup and filtered through an unbleached coffee filter to help remove some of the suspended sediment.


Gay Sands, sample 2

From near small yellowish pond on stamp sands near where we parked. Small pit was excavated about 2 feet from the pond's shore, sample was skimmed off the top of the water that collected in that pit to help avoid excess sediment.


Torch Lake, sample 1

Water sample collected at inlet right near old dredge. A small hole was dug, water was allowed to collect and settle before collection.

Results of the analyses are here. These results show clearly that As is being leached from the Gay sands.  This matter should be better understood.