Uranium in Water
Source of Uranium: Uranium (U) is a naturally occurring radioactive metallic element. Small amounts of uranium are present in certain types of soils and rocks, especially granite. Uranium breaks down very slowly into other elements including radium and radon gas. Naturally occurring uranium in groundwater results from the dissolution of uranium-bearing minerals. The concentration of uranium will vary depending on the geological environment and contact with groundwater. Uranium can be found in well and municipal water supplies.
Health Effects of Uranium: The chemical properties of uranium in drinking water are of greater health concern than its radioactivity. Most ingested uranium is from food intake and is rapidly eliminated from the body. However, a small amount is absorbed and carried through the bloodstream. Long term consumption of elevated uranium in drinking water can increase a person’s risk of kidney damage and cancer. Uranium has demonstrated toxic effects on human kidneys leading to kidney inflammation and changes in urine composition. Uranium can decay into other radioactive substances, such as radium, which can cause cancer with chronic exposures over a long period of time.
How to Remove Uranium: For whole house and commercial (Point Of Entry) applications a WECO backwashing filter with uranium-removing anion resins is recommended. A WECO reverse osmosis filtration system will remove uranium along with taste and odor-causing chemicals like chlorine and hydrogen sulfide, radon and heavy metals including copper and arsenic.