Living in an area without a municipal water supply means you are likely living in a home that is supplied by well water. While well water can be a clean source of water from deep below your property, it is also susceptible to contamination that is normally filtered out of municipal water sources. One such contaminate that most people don’t think about is radon. What is radon, what are the dangers of it, and how do you deal with radon contamination?
What is Radon?
Radon is a naturally occurring gas. It is invisible, odorless, tasteless and most importantly radioactive, as it emits alpha particles. Radon is formed as part of the decay process of uranium. As uranium naturally breaks down, it turns into thorium, radium, radon and finally radon progeny. Trace amounts of radon gas and radon progeny are found in most soil, and higher amounts where uranium rich soil or rocks are found.
The Dangers of Radon
When radon is in the soil around your well’s water source, it can seep into the water and come up into your home’s plumbing. From there it can either enter your drinking the water or it can enter the air through the use of showers, or even by cleaning your home with your well water. Once airborne, it can be inhaled into your lungs.
Alpha particle radiation from radon gas being in your air can greatly increase your risk of lung cancer (the risk is greatly multiplied if you are a smoker as well). When trapped in a poorly ventilated area, such as locations inside your home (basement, crawl spaces, etc.) harmful amounts of radon and radon progeny can accumulate easily. It is important to know whether radon is in your water source so that you can reduce your risks.
Detecting Radon Contamination
Since it is odorless, invisible, and tasteless, radon is undetectable without special equipment. However, if you do have the equipment, it is easily detectable. You can have a special radon detector installed in your water system if the risk of radon contamination is high in your area. Alternatively, with a well as your source of water, you should have regularly scheduled tests of your water done by a laboratory. Since radon levels vary from day to day, you should test over at a three-month period.
AquaKnow has kits to test your well water for radon contamination. Radon can be easily removed from a water source using a granular activated carbon filter, and radon also evaporates from water on contact with air; knowing if you need to take these measures can be lifesaving.
Get Your Water Supply Tested for Radon
Since radon can result in lung cancer, and can be easily detected with testing, you should contact AquaKnow promptly get the right radon testing kit for your water. If you suspect you have already been exposed, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible.