Should We Move to Escape Water Radiation?
October 8, 2013 12:37 PM Subscribe
We rent a house in a subdivision with its own (well-based) water supply, which isn't that uncommon where we are. But apparently there is radioactivity in the water supply. Details below.
posted by emjaybee to health & fitness (14 answers total)
Three times in the last year, we've received a notification that says:
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has notified the [subdivision name] Corporation water system that the drinking water being supplied to customers had exceeded the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for GROSS ALPHA PARTICLE ACTIVITY. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has established the MCL for GROSS ALPHA PARTICLE ACTIVITY at 15 pico curies per liter (pCi/L), and has determined that it is a health concern at levels above the MCL. Analysis of drinking water in your community for GROSS ALPHA PARTICLE ACTIVITY indicated a level of 18 pCi/L.
This is not an emergency. Certain minerals are radioactive and may emit a form of radiation known as alpha radiation. Some people who drink water containing alpha emitters in excess of the MCL over many years may have an increased risk of getting cancer.
You do not need to use an alternative water supply. However, if you have health concerns, you may want to talk to your doctor to get more information about how this may affect you.
We are working to correct the problem.
At this time we are in the preparatory stages of a pilot test.
3rd & 4th qtr of 2009, running avg 16pCi/L
1st & 2nd qtr of 2010, running avg 16pCi/L
1st qt 2013 Gross Alpha, running avg 18pCi/L
1st qt 2013 Comb. Radium(-226 & -228) 6pCi/L
We spoke with our landlady and she has told us the "pilot test" could take six months, then another year before installing any kind of filtration is approved. She told us not to worry, it wasn't dangerous especially if you mostly drank bottled water.
Of course, Google tells us that showering makes you inhale atomized water, which increases your risk of lung cancer if it has radioactive particles in it. And of course we wash clothes and dishes in this water.
We have an open-ended lease and could move any time (once we scraped together a deposit) but we kind of like this house and moving is a hassle.
How worried should we be? We've been here about a year and three months.