Radon Gas Filtration

Radon Gas Filtration

What is radon?

Radon is a colorless, tasteless, odorless, radioactive gas. It occurs naturally and is produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. It can also dissolve into our water supply.

Source of Radon

Radon (Rn) is a radioactive gaseous chemical element formed in the atomic disintegration of radium. Radon 222 is one of the radionuclides of most concern when found in drinking water. It is a naturally occurring isotope, but can also come from man-made sources. All radionuclides are considered carcinogens, but the organs they target vary. Since radon 222 is a gas, it can be inhaled during showers or while washing dishes. There is a direct relationship between radon 222 and lung cancer. Under the NIPDWR (national interim primary drinking water regulations), the MCL (maximum contamination level) for radon 222 is set at 15 pCi/L (see radium for explanation of how radiation is measured).

Treatment of Radon

Radon can be removed from water by using one of two methods: aeration treatment or granular activated carbon (GAC) treatment. Aeration treatment involves spraying water or mixing it with air, and then venting the air from the water before use. GAC treatment filters water through carbon. Radon attaches to the carbon and leaves the water free of radon. The carbon may need special handling in its disposal if it is used at a high radon level or if it has been used for a long time.

In either treatment, it is important to treat the water where it enters your home (point-of-entry device) so that all the water will be treated. Point-of-use devices, such as those installed on a tap or under the sink, will only treat a small portion of your water and are not effective in reducing radon in your water. It is important to maintain home water treatment units properly because failure to do so can lead to other water contamination problems. Some homeowners opt for a service contract from the installer to provide for carbon replacement and general system maintenance.