RADON IN WATER
Radon in soil is recognized as the largest natural source of radon gas in homes. It is important to know that in some situations, water can contribute significantly to the radon concentration found in a building. Radon in water should be considered in situations where a home or building is supplied by a private well.
If water is supplied by a river or reservoir, most of the radon will have been released into the air before reaching a public water supplier. Radon in water becomes a concern when the water is supplied by an underground source. However, not all wells or aquifers a source of significant radon.
There is currently no federally enforced drinking water standard for radon. Drinking water contaminated with radon presents a small risk of developing internal organ cancers, most notably stomach cancer. It is widely acknowledged that radon that is released into the air from water presents a much higher health risk than consuming water containing radon.
Waterborne radon concentrations are generally much higher than those found in the air. It takes significantly high levels of radon in water to result in measurable increases of airborne radon. The radon is released when water runs from a faucet, shower or a water consuming appliance. This is the first opportunity for the gas to escape into the air. Industry experts have determined that on average, 1 pCi/L of airborne radon will result from the normal use of a water supply containing 10,000 pCi/L of gas. It is prudent for water to be tested for radon if a home is supplied by a well and if radon levels are detected to be higher on the upper levels of the home exceed levels measured in the basement following the installation of a radon mitigation system.
TESTING FOR RADON IN WATER
Testing for radon in water simply involves collecting a sample to be analyzed by a certified lab. The test may be conducted by a radon measurement professional or homeowner. It is important that the water be collected according to the test kit instructions and that no air be introduced to the sample. Upon receiving test results, a qualified radon professional can help you assess to extent to which radon in water is contributing to the overall radon concentration in your home.
REMOVING RADON FROM WATER
If it is determined that radon in water is contributing to the radon levels in a home, it is essential that you consult with a radon mitigation professional regarding mitigation. Water treatment methods for radon removal should be point-of-entry devices that treats the entire water supply. The safest and most effective method of radon removal involves a spray, diffused bubble or aeration system that facilitates controlled separation of radon from water. These systems should only be installed by a company or individual with training and experience with waterborne radon removal. It’s important to note that routine maintenance is required to keep these systems working properly and efficiently.