Radon gas can dissolve and accumulate in water from underground sources (called groundwater). This is only a concern if your water comes from underground, such as a well that pumps water from an aquifer, though not all water from underground sources contains radon.
When water that contains radon is used in the home for showering, washing dishes, and cooking, radon gas escapes from the water and goes into the air. Some radon also stays in the water. The EPA states that drinking water that contains 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.
If testing your private well shows that you have high levels of radon in your drinking water and you are concerned about it, there are some things you can do to improve the water. The most effective treatment you can apply is to remove radon from the water right before it enters your home. This is called point-of-entry treatment. There are two types of point- of-entry devices that remove radon from water:
Granular activated carbon (GAC) filters (which use activated carbon to remove the radon). Radioactivity can collect on the filter, which may cause a handling hazard and require special disposal methods for the filter.
Aeration devices (which bubble air through the water and carry radon gas out into the atmosphere through an exhaust fan).
Point-of-use devices such as those installed on a tap or under the sink will only treat a small portion of your water and are not effective in reducing radon in your water.
Remember to have your well water tested regularly, at least once a year, after installing a treatment system to make sure the problem is controlled.
Lance Dorfi, LLC. is able to test your water for radon as well as provide water-treatment services if high levels of radon are found in your water.