It's common knowledge that private wells can become contaminated with bacteria like E. Coli or chemicals like fertilizers and pesticides, but you may not know that radioactive substances like radon can also contaminate your water. Here are three things you need to know about private wells and radon.
Why is radon a concern?
Radon is a concern because it's known to be a cancer-causing substance. When you use the water that comes from your well, radon gets released into the air, and you breathe it in. Breathing in radon gas increases your risk of getting lung cancer, and if you're a smoker, the risk is even higher. To protect yourself and your family, it's important to have your well water tested for this dangerous contaminant.
How does radon get into well water?
Radium is a radioactive metal that's found within the earth, and as this metal decays, it forms radon gas. This radon gas can then seep into the aquifer, leading to water contamination. If your well is fed by this aquifer, you'll have radon in your well water.
Radon doesn't affect the look, smell or taste of your water, so you should have the water tested every three to five years to see if it's present. This testing is in addition to the yearly testing that you should be doing for bacteria and nitrates.
How can radon be removed?
There are two ways that radon can be removed from well water. If low levels of the contaminant are present, activated carbon filters can be used to remove it. The carbon absorbs the radon molecules, and then the radon breaks down within the carbon. A whole house filter should be used to ensure that all of the water is treated for radon as it enters your home.
If your water is contaminated with high levels of radon, an aeration unit can be used. These units bubble the water to release the radon gas, and then this gas is released above your roof line. These systems need to be set up carefully to ensure that the gas is vented away from your living areas. You can have your indoor air tested for radon gas to make sure the system is working as it should.
If you have a private well, bacteria and chemicals aren't the only contaminants you need to worry about. You should have your well water tested for radon, and if radon is found, it needs to be removed. For more information, contact companies like Marv's Plumbing.