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Water

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 process.

Ion Exchange (Water Softener)

ion exchange unit or water softenerThe 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.


Reverse Osmosis

reverse osmosis system for treating radiumThe 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.

 

Contacts

 


Bureau of Water . Phone: (803) 898-4300 . Fax: (803) 898-3795 . Contact Us