Radium Treatment Options
The Department conducted a pilot study to
identify treatment units that would effectively remove the radium in your water
and that you will be able to purchase locally. Culligan of Lexington and
Lowes of Aiken both donated an Ion Exchange (also known as a Water Softener) and
Reverse Osmosis treatment unit. Preliminary results of this study suggest
that both technologies can effectively remove radium from drinking water.
Multiple models by other manufacturers are available and may work, but the other
units were not tested. When purchasing a treatment unit, you should look for one that is National
Sanitation Federal (NSF) International approved for removing
radium from drinking water. The web-site for NSF International is www.nsf.org.
If you or a member of your family has high
blood pressure, purchasing an Ion Exchange (Water Softener) unit is not
recommended because sodium is added to the drinking water during the treatment
The ion exchange (IE) or water softener system is actually a combination of processes that treats all of the water going into the home. This system is normally installed by a water treatment professional. The system used in the pilot study was donated by Culligan of Lexington and sells for about $4,000. The ion exchange system is composed of a sediment filter, followed by a mixed be ion exchange filter (95% cation to 5% anion resin), an aeration unit, granular activated carbon (GAC) and ultraviolet light for disinfection. A picture of the system is shown to the right.
The IE (water softener) system was effective in removing radium. A graph of the preliminary results is presented below. The yellow triangles on the graph show the concentration of radium remaining in the water after treatment with the IE (water softener) system.
The reverse osmosis (RO) system is actually a combination of processes that is usually installed under the kitchen sink for treating the water that is used for drinking, cooking, and making ice. This type of system is called a point-of-use device because it only treats the water at one point in the home. The installation of this device is up to the homeowner. An example of an RO system is shown to the right.
The reverse osmosis system is composed of a sediment filter, followed by a carbon filter, the reverse osmosis filter, and then a final carbon filter. The RO system used in the pilot study was donated by Lowe's of Aiken and sells for about $200.
The RO system was effective in removing radium. A graph showing the preliminary results is shown below. The yellow triangles show the concentration of radium remaining the water after treatment with the RO system.
- For Health Information
Call 1-888-849-7241 (Toll-Free Community Line)
- For general information contact :
Bureau of Water . Phone: (803) 898-4300 . Fax: (803) 898-3795 . Contact Us