I'm in the process of buying a house with well water, and water testing showed all is good EXCEPT it failed for gross alpha :
Gross Alpha (initial) 16.56 pCi/L (limit is 5 pCi/L)
Gross Alpha (final) 15.84 pCi/L (limit is 15 pCi/L)
My research so far suggests there is a good chance this is caused by excessive levels of both radium AND uranium:
Combined radium 226 & 228= 6.0 pCi/L (mcl is 5 pCi/L)
Uranium= 37ug/L (mcl is 30 ug/L)
At first, I thought I was just lucky finding a house on a former nuclear test site! I have come to learn this is common in my area, something to do with the local geology. There is an old, out of service water softener in place, so these test results are for raw water. My hope is to replace the old system with a new cationic system (looks like an old Fleck setup), to control the radium. Does anyone have a crystal ball that can predict if this will help get my gross alpha numbers into the "passing" range? Are there any particular resins that are recommended for these contaminants?
Some people have suggested if this doesn't do the job, I may need to install a second anionic softener for the uranium, but I am getting mixed signals on this (concerns about metal pipe corrosion running "demineralized" water). I would rather install a POU reverse osmosis system (to control the uranium) for our drinking water, but not sure if my township will accept this.
If anyone has any experience to share, it would be most appreciated. All this radiological stuff has me very nervous.