If you ever shopped for a house, you know that one of the things they test for is radon. But did you know that if your home tests positive for elevated levels of this harmful gas indoors and your water is supplied by a well, there is a chance you have radon in your water, too?
What Is Radon and Why Should I Be Concerned?
Radon is the gas produced by the radioactive decay of uranium found in rock, soil and water. With no odor, color or taste, it can only be detected through testing. Exposure to high levels of radon has been linked to an increased risk of developing certain cancers.
In most incidents, the gas enters a building from the soil beneath its foundation. It collects under the building until pressure forces it to seep through the floors and walls. Once in the house, the gas can become trapped and concentrated.
Inspectors commonly test radon levels at the point of entry—basements and crawlspaces. If levels are found to be high, the homeowner can install a radon mitigation system that vents the gas out of the house and into the atmosphere, where it becomes diluted and less of a health risk.
Unfortunately for most people, that’s where radon testing ends because they don’t realize the gas can also be present in their water. That is particularly true if they have a well that draws directly from an underground source as opposed to drawing from surface water. When present in surface water such as rivers, lakes, reservoirs, the gas poses less of a risk because most of it is released into the air before the water enters the distribution system. Not so with a well that’s dependent on an underground water source.
Twofold Health Risks
The health risks associated with radon in water are twofold. First, the gas gets released from the water into the air, increasing any existing levels you may already have. The second risk comes from ingesting radon through your drinking water. Breathing in radon has been linked to an increased risk for lung cancer, while ingesting it through drinking water has been linked to stomach cancer.
How Can I Tell If I Have Exposure?
Radon is not unique to any one area or region. It can be found in every state in the country. The only way to tell if you have exposure to unhealthy levels of this gas is through testing. And it doesn’t matter if your neighbor has radon issues or not. Indoor air and water radon levels can differ from building to building depending on where your home and water source sits.
There are different methods of treating your water to reduce your risks. Some involve the use of chemicals or carbon filters that must be replaced periodically. This method can be expensive over the long term and is only as reliable as your commitment to its maintenance.
Well Manger’s water radon mitigation system—Radon Watcher—works differently. The Radon Watcher system mitigates the gas from your water through aeration. By injecting air directly into your well water, this system allows trapped gases to escape into the atmosphere so you and your family are protected from exposure to radon.
Contact Well Manager today for more information on their chemical-free water radon mitigation system.