Radon as a Water Contaminant

Radon is a gas that has no color, odor, or taste and comes from the natural radioactive breakdown of uranium in the ground. We can be exposed to radon by two main sources:

  • Radon in the air in our home (frequently called "radon in indoor air") - Most of the radon in indoor air comes from soil underneath the home. As uranium breaks down, radon gas forms and seeps into the house.
  • Radon in drinking water - Radon gas can also dissolve and accumulate in water from underground sources (called ground water), such as wells. 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. It is similar to carbonated soda drinks where carbon dioxide is dissolved in the soda and is released when you open the bottle. Some radon also stays in the water.

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. Only about 1-2 percent of radon in the air comes from drinking water. However, breathing radon increases the risk of lung cancer over the course of your lifetime. Some radon stays in the 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 Treatment

WETS uses aeration as the preferred method for removal of arsenic from drinking water. We usually suggest doing a pilot study to decide on the best aeration method for a particular case. Our pilot study will economize on the chemical dosing and also help in getting TCEQ approval. Our solutions are unique for each plant as we don’t offer an off-the-shelf product.