Radon is a natural occurring gas that is created when uranium breaks down and is released into the soil. It goes unnoticed in our homes and is radioactive. This means that it is extremely dangerous to humans and can cause great damage to our health if it goes untreated. In fact, after cigarette smoking, radon gas causes more lung cancer related deaths every year and is estimated to claim the lives of 21,000 people annually.
While it can easily seep into our homes through cracks in the foundation, radon can also find its way into our homes through our drinking water. While most deaths occur when radon gas is in the air, up to 1800 deaths per year are caused when radon makes its way into our drinking water.
Certain areas contain higher contents of radon and groundwater than others. If you live in one of these areas, radon has the power to get into a private well supply. This means that any time you use the water in your home for things like washing dishes, doing laundry and even taking a shower, you are releasing radon gas that you then inhale.
If you believe that you may have a radon gas issue with your water, you will need to contact your local radon office to learn how to have your drinking water tested. There are labs in most areas that will test your drinking water, but you must pay a fee.
There are a couple of different treatments that can help you remove radon from your water; an aeration treatment or a GAC treatment. With the aeration treatment you will either spray or mix the water with air and vent the air out of the water before you use it.
The second treatment, GAC, is a filtration system. Water is filtered through carbon that is granular activated. When the radon attaches to the carbon the water will be cleaned of the radon. Keep in mind with this treatment method that the disposing of the carbon will need to be handled with care because it will now have high radon content.
With both methods you will need to treat your water at the point where it enters your home because this is the only way to make sure that all of your water is being treated. If you install a point of use device, for example, on your sink, this will only treat that one area and it is not effective when you are looking to treat the radon in your water.
It is also important that you make sure that you are maintaining the water treatment units that you place in your home because if they fail, water contamination can occur. You will also need to make sure that you have your water tested at least once a year after you have the water treatment system installed. This way you will know that the issue is being controlled and that you are no longer in any danger of radon poisoning.