Monday, October 19, 2009

Pike County - Radon in Water Higher than Anticipated

Pike two-year water study
MILFORD, PA — A two-year study of the Pike County watersheds and ground water resources reveals ground water resources of good quality and good quantity.
The only negative concern centered on the amount of radioactive radon that is exceeding normal levels in 75 percent of the testing wells. Radon is the second-leading cause of cancer in the nation.
The survey, which was conducted through a partnership between the Pike County Conservation District (PCCD) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS), found that the water resources in the county are basically sound and free of serious problems, save for the radon.
The report of the survey results was presented to the Pike County Commissioners at their meeting on August 26 by Nicholas Spinelli, PCCD watershed specialist.
The survey results were gathered over two years at 22 observation wells throughout the county.
“Human activity is affecting ground water in the county, depending on the extent of development,” Spinelli said. Ground water is the sole source of drinking water in the county, he said.
None of the effluents measured by the survey exceeded permitted limits, except radon. “Sixty percent of the homes in Pennsylvania have radon in exceeding levels,” he said. “The test wells in the northern part of the county have higher levels and it tapers off as you go south.”
Rich Caridi, commissioners chair, said that it would be advisable to inform the Pike County Builders Association of the presence of radon and encourage them to take measures to mitigate any traces of the gas at construction sites.
“There are several mitigation systems that could be installed in new homes,” Spinelli said.
The survey provides baseline information that will help in monitoring any future contamination that might come from new development, he said.
“The main message from this survey is that what we do on the land has an impact on our drinking water,” said Susan Beecher, director of PCCD.

By Tom Kane, The River Reporter, Volume XXXV No. 36, September 3-9, 2009

Radon in Water Testing - go to

1. The source of the radon is a combination of natural occurring radionuclieds in the consolidated and unconsolidated material.

2. The recommendation to check construction sites is not advisable, but the recommendation should be to encourage testing for radon in air and water as part of a real estate transfer and inspection.

3. IT would be advisable to evaluate the data based on both a horizontal variability and vertical variability and by bedrock type

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