Radium In Drinking Water: What You Need To Know


Eric Roy, Ph.D.  |  Scientific Founder

Since The Environmental Working Group recently released a report about the prevalence of radium in US water supplies, our email and support line have been filled with questions about the toxic, radioactive heavy metal. The purpose of this article is to address a lot of these FAQs, and to discuss how to remove radium from drinking water. We'll be updating the article as more questions come into our Water Nerds!

What Is Radium & Where Does It Come From?

Radium is the product of the radioactive decay of uranium and thorium decay in rocks and soils. It's naturally occurring, and Radium levels tend to be higher in groundwater (wells, aquifers) than surface water (rivers).

Are The Recent News Articles The Result Of A Recent Spike In Radium Concentrations?

No. The reports examined radium concentrations that were logged in publicly-available databases the same databases that Hydroviv has been been using for years when we optimize water filters for our customers.

Should I Be Treating My Drinking Water Like Radioactive Waste?

Absolutely not. The concentrations of radium in drinking water are nowhere near the levels found in radioactive waste. There is absolutely no need to avoid being near your tap water.

What Can I Do To Remove Radium From My Drinking Water?

Unlike lead, which leaches into water from pipes, radium comes from the source water itself, so flushing your pipes does not reduce radium concentrations in water. Boiling water also does not reduce or remove radium from drinking water.

  1. Ion exchange media. Cationic ion exchange media do a nice job selectively removing radium and uranium from drinking water, without removing minerals like calcium or magnesium. This is the approach we take in our water filters. 
  2. Reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis is also a viable way to remove radium from water for people who are willing to accept the drawbacks, including low flow rate and complexity of installation. 

Hydroviv Undersink filters are NSF/ANSI 53 certified to remove lead, PFOA/PFOS, and VOCs from drinking water. If you have any questions about filtering or removing radium from your drinking water, we encourage you to take advantage of Hydroviv’s “Help No Matter What” approach to technical support, where we will help you select an effective water filter system, even if it’s not one that we sell. This free service can be reached by emailing support@hydroviv.com.

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