Radon as a Water Contaminant
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas formed by the natural decay of uranium in rock, soil, and water. Rn-222, a decay of Ra-226 and Ra-228 are natural groundwater contaminants that usually occur at trace levels. Ra-226 is a decay product of uranium and emits alpha and gamma radiation. Ra-228 is a decay product of thorium and emits beta radiation.
Radon is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and chemically inert. Radon emits ionizing radiation that can cause lung cancer. Ingesting water that contains radon may increase the risk of internal organ cancer, primarily stomach cancer. Breathing radon gas released from water may increase lung cancer risks over the course of a lifetime.
At high exposure levels, Ra-226 and Ra-228 can cause bone, stomach, lung and other forms of cancer in humans.
Maximum Contaminant Level
EPA established MCL of Radon-222 pCi/l 390.0 ± 20.0
Public Health Concerns
USEPA estimates that between 30 and 600 lung cancer deaths a year result from radon contamination of drinking water. Drinking water containing radon also presents a risk of developing internal organ cancers, primarily stomach cancer. However, this risk is smaller than the risk of developing lung cancer from radon released to air from tap water.
WETS uses aeration as the preferred method for removal of radon from drinking water. We usually suggest doing a pilot study to optimize the aerator sizing. Our solutions are unique for each plant as we don’t offer an off-the-shelf product.