Unsafe levels of arsenic have been reported in 10 percent of private water wells in certain areas of south Weston, so local health officials will soon look at the arsenic levels in the nearby neighborhoods of northern Westport.

Twenty owners of private wells in RTM Districts 3 and 8 will have the opportunity to have their wells tested free of charge. Town health officials will collect samples, which will be sent to the state Department of Health for testing.

"We're looking for the largest cross-sectional representation that we can get geographically and see what it shows us," said Weston-Westport Health Director Mark Cooper.

The state has been conducting arsenic studies throughout Connecticut. Cooper said 268 private wells were tested in Weston, with 10 percent containing arsenic levels of more than 1 part per million -- the state's recommended health limit or "action level."

"It's a naturally occurring element," Cooper said. "It's in the ground, it's in the air, it's in the food we eat. It's more important really for homeowners to know what their arsenic levels are. If they have concerns, there are options to remove it or treat it or reduce it."

Residents in Districts 3 and 8 interested in having their water tested should contact the health agency at 203-227-9571.