What is radon?
Radon is a colorless, tasteless, odorless, radioactive gas. Radon occurs naturally as a result of the breakdown of uranium in the ground. You can be exposed to Radon in two ways; in the air in your home and in your drinking water.
Radon in the air comes from soil and layers of rock underneath a home. As the uranium breaks down, radon gas is formed and enters the home through cracks in the foundation, gaps around pipes, constructions joints and through the water supply. As the gas enters the home it can build up to high levels in the air inside the building.
Radon gas can accumulate in ground water, which is used for private wells. When water containing radon is used for showering, washing dishes and cooking the gas moves from the water to the air. Some of the radon will also stay in the water.
What are the health concerns of Radon in drinking water?
Radon in the air can cause lung cancer. Radon gas breaks down into radioactive particles that can get trapped in your lungs. As the particles continue to break down they release small bursts of energy. This can cause damage to lung tissue and increase the chance of developing lung cancer. People that smoke have a much higher risk. Radon in the air is the second leading cause of lung cancer, the first leading cause is smoking. Being exposed to Radon in the does NOT mean that you will definitely develop lung cancer.
Drinking water containing Radon from your private well can increase your risk of developing stomach cancer or other internal organ cancers. The risk of this happening is smaller that the risk of lung cancer from Radon in the air.
How do I know if there is Radon in my drinking water?
Just because you have a water well, it does not automatically mean that you have Radon in your water. Northeast Water Wells is available to come out to your home and collect a sample for Radon testing. Please contact us to set up a time for collecting a sample. All testing is done through a state certified analytical lab.
How do I remove Radon from my drinking water?
The best treatments work by removing the Radon from your water before it enters the home. This is referred to as point of entry treatment systems. There are different treatments available.
Aeration treatment – mixes air with the water and vents the air to carry the Radon gas out of the water by using an exhaust fan.
Granular Activated Carbon filters (GAC treatment) – The water is filtered through granular activated carbon, the Radon attaches to the carbon and the water is free of Radon. These filters may require special disposal because of the radioactive carbon that has collected on the filter.
Article by Karen Provencher
At Northeast Water Wells Inc our services are not limited to water well drilling and pump installation we also have a plethora of other services available. Northeast water wells experienced technicians also specialize in Artesian Water Well Abandonment, Well Rehabilitation, Water Well Chlorination, Submersible water pumps, Jet pumps, Constant Pressure Pumps, Pressure Boosting Pumps, Solar/ wind powered pumping systems. Water Pressure holding tanks, Atmospheric Water Holding tanks, Water Quality/ Quantity testing, water conditioning and treatment, filtration, sanitizers, water softeners, hydro fracture, zone fracture, Water Well Maintenance, Real Estate Transfer testing and Well Efficiency Audits.
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