Contribution of Waterborne Radon to Home Air Quality

by Arun K. Deb, (F.ASCE), Roy F. Weston, Inc, West Chester, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Critical Issues in Water and Wastewater Treatment


A controlled experiment was performed to explore the contribution of waterborne radon to home air quality and the effect of radon removal from a centralized water system on indoor radon levels in three communities with widely disparate waterborne radon contamination levels. In community A, the contribution of waterborne radon to indoor air radon is small relative to those coming from sort gas and other sources. Thus, the water treatment system for radon removal had little effect on indoor air radon. This may lead residents to have a false sense of safety due to the installation of a water treatment system. In community B, average pretreatment indoor air radon concentrations are low. The small difference in pre- and post-treatment concentrations indicates a small contribution of waterborne radon. In community C, a relatively large reduction of indoor air radon between pre-and post-treatment measurements indicates a large contribution of waterborne radon and the effectiveness of a water treatment system. The effect of reducing waterborne radon on indoor air radon concentrations has been found to be a reduction of 1.3×10-4 pCi/L of indoor air radon for every reduction of 1 pCi/L of waterborne radon.

Subject Headings: Air quality | Indoor environmental quality | Radon | Water quality | Water supply systems | Chemical treatment | Water policy | Aquatic habitats

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