Radium naturally occurs in drinking water and can be contaminated by human-made sources like medical and industrial waste, mining operations, and nuclear facilities.
Radium is toxic and can cause cancer and other diseases. 5 picocuries/L is the EPA’s radium contaminant limit.
Reverse osmosis (RO) uses water pressure to push tap water through a semi-permeable membrane that filters out dissolved inorganics, unwanted molecules, and larger particles. City and well water can be cleaned of radium and lead by RO.
Most reverse osmosis systems use activated carbon (AC) filtration to remove chlorine, pesticides, organic solvents, and volatile organic chemicals like radon. Sediment filters also remove silt particles that can clog the RO membrane.
In some reverse osmosis systems, radium and other radioactive compounds, including Cesium-137, are removed by ion exchange. Resins replace contaminants’ ions with similar ones. (usually sodium). Unfortunately, this treatment method may not suit all drinking water supplies, so you must choose a system that meets your household’s needs.
Ion exchange (IE) water treatment removes contaminants like fluoride, chlorine, radium, and strontium. To do this, IE uses a tiny particle called an ion exchange resin with special ions that bind to water molecules.
Water ions are exchanged for less harmful ions with the same charge but no negative reactions in ion exchange. Resin made from aluminosilicate minerals or organic polymers can accomplish this.
This process removes hardness ions from water as well as radium ions. However, EPA materials warn that high levels of magnesium and iron in source waters may clog the resin media, preventing radium removal.
In conclusion, radium can be removed from water using any method. Still, it’s important to choose one that doesn’t exceed MCLs. (Minimum Critical Levels). This ensures a plant can safely dispose of its waste and continue to provide clean drinking water.
If radium is in an insoluble solution, water filters can remove it. Precipitation occurs when an ion from the solution is added to a reagent that dissolves it, forming an insoluble compound with all dissolved ions.
This ion must be soluble to precipitate since it is usually salt. Since some ions are more soluble, knowing which will precipitate from is important.
Sulphate is less soluble than barite, so it can co-precipitate 226Ra from produced water. Since barite reacts with other ions to form toxic compounds, initial experiments should start with lower Ba2+ concentrations.
Radium naturally occurs in groundwater. It decays to radium-226 and radium-228, releasing alpha particles that can damage human tissues.
Radiation can be removed from water using reverse osmosis or ion exchange. Both processes lower radioactivity.
Reverse osmosis (RO) is the first membrane-purifying method for drinking water. RO can remove uranium from the solution.
Cation exchange softening can also lower radium levels in drinking water. An ion exchange system will replace radium in your solution with sodium because sodium attracts minerals.
Test your water for radium levels in a lab. Make sure the test you choose meets your needs.