What is radon?
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas commonly found in basements. It comes from decaying uranium deposits found within granite beneath your home. Radon is considered Gamma radiation which can easily pass through concrete. Once inside your home, the particles get inhaled into your lungs and decay further. This dramatically increases your risk for lung cancer!
Radon Mitigation Techniques
The most common air radon removal method is the Active Soil Depressurization (ASD) system. This system involves coring a 3 to 4 inch hole in the foundation floor and excavate a small suction pit under the floor. A pvc pipe is sealed into the hole and run to the outside of the home. A suction fan is attached to the pipe. This fan produces a negative pressure under the floor and the radon gas is drawn to the fan and exhausted out of the home.
HRV, or Heat Recovery Ventilation is another radon removal option often used in older homes and homes where the ASD system is unlikely to be successful. These systems bring in a continuous supply of fresh air and exhaust contaminated air.
Radon in water can effectively be reduced using one of two methods: aeration treatment or granular activated carbon.
Aeration is the EPA’s preferred method for removing radon in water. It is 99% effective. This involves spraying the water or mixing it with air and then venting the radon.
Granular activated carbon systems filter the water through a charcoal bed. The radon is retained in the charcoal and the water leaves the charcoal tank relatively free of radon. The tanks need to be replaced yearly.
In both of these treatment methods, it is important to treat the water where it enters the home. Trying to treat the water at the kitchen sink, for instance, would not be effective in reducing the amount of radon that enters the home. It is important to properly maintain home water treatment systems according to manufacturer's recommendations since failure to do so can lead to other water contamination problems.
tip- To estimate how much radon in the air is caused by radon in the water use the following rule. For every 10,000 pCi/L of radon in the water, 1 pCi/L is emitted into the air. For example, if there is 40,000 pCi/L in the water this would contribute about 4 pCi/L to the air.
The EPA provides two guides for radon awareness. Click the images for direct links and call us with further questions.