Posts Tagged ‘waterborne radon’

Friday, July 27, 2012 @ 06:07 PM
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Waterborne Radon and the North Carolina Radon Program

Radon in Water Charlotte, North CarolinaAccording to the Center for Disease Control, radon contamination is estimated to cause thousands of deaths each year. The waterborne radon problem in North Carolina may not be as deadly as in the hardest-hit states, but it is still a significant enough problem that residents should educate themselves about the dangers of radon in water and how to protect themselves from it.

The North Carolina Radon Program was founded to educate residents about the dangers radon poses and how to protect themselves. The program’s goal is to have homes built with radon-resistant construction techniques and to have information on testing and mitigation revealed to homeowners during the transfer of real estate. They also want to see schools tested for radon — a process that homeowners should have performed regularly in their own homes. The program is currently setting environmental goals and developing grass-roots coalitions to spread awareness about radon risk and reduction methods. Citizens can contact them with any questions or concerns they may have about either airborne or radon in water.

The Dangers of Radon in Water

The danger of radon in drinking water begins when water from an underground source such as a well becomes contaminated — which can happen easily since radon is naturally created underground. Radon gas contaminated water can cause lung cancer in humans when the radon particles escape into the air. These particles can severely damage the lung’s tissue over time after they are inhaled. Drinking radon-contaminated water can also damage other internal organs such as the stomach, potentially even causing stomach cancer. However, the most severe health problems tend to arise from inhaling the radon after it escapes from the water.

Techniques to Mitigate Waterborne Radon

If testing finds that your home’s water is contaminated with radon, you will need to have SWAT Environmental purify it. Aeration and absorption are the two main techniques used to remove radon from a water supply. Aeration methods such as Packed Tower Aeration mitigate radon from large flows of water by trapping it in water bubbles. The raw water is sprayed into a tower until it trickles down onto plastic packing. Air is then pumped into the packing to enhance the radon’s removal so it can be channeled into a reservoir tower below. Lastly, the air containing the radon gas is released from the top tower, preventing it from entering your home.

Another aeration method, Diffused Bubble Aeration, mitigates the radon gas by injecting air into the water. The radon gas becomes trapped in the bubbles as they rise. The gas is then vented out of the system when it reaches the top unit. Cascade Aeration is the simplest method of removing radon from water. It uses a series of steps similar to a waterfall for the water to flow over. Ventilation then removes the gas from the unit.

Absorption is the other primary method used to remove radon in water. This technique uses granular activated carbon to absorb the radon gases. The carbon becomes saturated with the radon over a period of time, cleansing the water of the contaminant. To ensure continuous decontamination of water, the carbon must be replaced or regenerated by steam cleaning periodically. In some cases, multiple systems will be necessary to complete remove the radon from your home’s water supply.