What is radon in water?
Radon may be the most misunderstood water-born problem of our time. Radon is a naturally occurring element contained in our underlying granite bedrock. The unique thing about radon is that it is a gas. Radon in our water is the same radon that is in our air, and as water-borne radon escapes it elevates the level in the air we breathe. Radon in water is, basically, tiny pockets of radon gas trapped in the water. As with any other gas trapped in a liquid, the gas is trying to escape, simply due to its lighter weight. When we agitate, heat or aerate this water the radon is released at an accelerated rate.
How does it get into our homes?
Our modern way of living gives us many convenient devices to make our lives easier, such as a shower, faucet aerators, dishwashers, clothes washers , hot water heaters, etc. All of these helpful things also help water-borne radon escape into the air that we then breathe. Even our early morning friend, the coffee maker, is guilty of helping any radon trapped in the water to escape into the air. Showers are of higher concern due the fact that the head removes radon into the air very efficiently. And then the shower enclosure helps to capture the radon gas; so the longer the shower, the higher the concentration of radon we breathe.
Here’s the problem:
Radon is known to be the second leading cause of lung cancer, second only to smoking. Radon is known as the silent killer, because we can’t see it, smell it, or taste it. Many people refuse to believe it could be in their drinking water. “My water tastes great,” or “My water water is the best around,” or “I’ve never had any problem with my water,” is what some uninformed folks will say about their water. Nobody wants to think that maybe their water could have something like radon.
Testing and home sales
In today’s real estate market buyers are increasingly savvy to water quality issues that may cost them additional money after purchase. Many lenders require testing and mitigation of radon and other well water issues prior to a sale. This accounts for a large percentage of systems that we install. Many think that is wise to identify problems and enjoy safer water for themselves and their family now, rather that to pay for a system for someone else who may buy their property later. Whether you are the buyer or the seller, if you decide to test it, your water information is your private information and will be given out only with your permission.
Here’s the solution:
Radon by itself is easily reduced by up to 99% by aeration. The unit we use automatically forces the radon to the outside air through a 2″ PVC vent pipe; then the water is re-pressurized with a bottom suction, very quiet submersible pump. Minor amounts of radon may be reduced with a GAC (granulated activated carbon) filter, though our preferred method is aeration.
It is better to get your water tested so that you know what you have. If there is an elevated level of radon in your water, take it seriously, be safe and get it corrected. This problem can be easily reduced. Call Alpha Water Systems today for a free review of your water chemistry. If you have not tested yet, we will then help you determine what to test to for, the proper testing procedure, and the best system for mitigation should you choose to take corrective action.