Uranium in your drinking water may be harmful to your health. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that safe drinking water should contain less than 30 parts per billion (ppb) uranium. If your source of household water is a private well, cistern or spring, you are solely responsible for the quality of your own drinking water Private well owners are encouraged to monitor uranium through water testing.

Uranium is a radioactive element that can be naturally present in some rocks and ground-water. Levels of uranium above 30 ppb have not been found in shallow wells or surface water. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Dieseas Registry report (1995), drinking from a uranium-contaminated water supply is the most likely route of exposure. Skin contact is not considered harmful to health.

Studies suggest that drinking water with uranium levels above 30 ppb may increase the risk of kidney malfunction. Exposure to uranium in drinking water has not been shown to increase the risk of developing cancer. This publication is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult your physician if you have any questions or concerns related to the potential health effects from consuming water containing uranium.

You should not continue to drink any water with excessive levels of uranium.

NOTE: Elevated concentrations of uranium in well water often indicate high levels of radon in the home’s air. It is recommended that well owners with elevated uranium levels also test their home for radon gas. To test air in your home you can obtain a radon test kit from Everclean at (207) 341-1001.