Radium (Ra) is a naturally occurring radioactive element that is found in rocks and soil. Small amounts of radium can sometimes be detected in groundwater supplies. If the rock contains high levels of radium, the groundwater will pick up higher amounts of radium. Deep wells used for drinking water sometimes contain levels of Ra-226 and Ra-228 that are considered health hazards. Radium cannot be seen, tasted, or smelled in drinking water.
Health Effects of Radium: A small percentage of ingested radium is absorbed in digestive tract and sent throughout the body. Radium acts like calcium and is deposited in tissues and bone. High doses of radium cause bone cancer. Drinking radium-contaminated water for a lifetime increases the health risks.
How to Remove Radium: Ion-exchange can often remove 90 percent of radium present along with water hardness. Another option is a WECO reverse osmosis filtration system. This complete 5-stage water purification system removes tastes and odors along with suspended particles like sand and grit, chlorine, chloramine, carcinogenic chemicals, pesticides, solvents, and heavy metals like lead, cadmium, copper and arsenic. WECO whole-house and commercial filtration systems are also available.