Aiken notifies water customers of radium

Monday, July 26, 2010 12:36 PM
Last updated 9:14 PM
  • Follow Aiken

Elevated levels of naturally occurring radium in drinking water prompted the city of Aiken to notify its customers and hire a consultant to help resolve the problem.

“Although this is not an emergency, as our customers you do have a right to know what happened, what you should do and what we are doing to correct the situation,” said the notice, dated Friday and sent to the municipal water customers.

Radium is a radioactive element that occurs naturally in many rocks, soils, and groundwaters, according to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fact sheet. Radium can dissolve in water and may be found at unsafe levels in certain areas of the country including South Carolina.

The federal limit for radium in drinking water is 5 picocuries per liter. According to Aiken’s notice, the “average level of radium over the last year” was 5.8 picocuries per liter.

City officials advised customers they do not need to find an alternative water source and that a consultant is helping to correct the problem.

“This is not an immediate risk,” the notice said. “If it had been uou would have been notified immediately.”

People who drink water with excessive levels of radium over many years have an increased risk of getting certain types of cancer.

According to the S.C. Department of Health & Environmental Control, Aiken County has eight public well sites that show elevated radium levels in groundwater and is second only to nearby Lexington County, with 18 such sites. Richland County, with seven sites, was ranked third.

Reach Rob Pavey at (706) 868-1222, ext. 119 or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (10) Add comment
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iletuknow
8
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iletuknow 07/26/10 - 03:44 pm
0
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Price you pay for SRS.

Price you pay for SRS.

ArmedandLegal
0
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ArmedandLegal 07/26/10 - 04:40 pm
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"Price you pay for

"Price you pay for SRS"

Reading comprehension is hard.

"Radium is a radioactive element that occurs naturally in many rocks, soils, and groundwaters, according to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fact sheet."

KSL
131317
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KSL 07/26/10 - 04:55 pm
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ilet, it pays to know what

ilet, it pays to know what you are talking about before you post something foolish. It isn't coming from well water near SRS, south of Aiken. It is in the water on the north side of Aiken, and not all of Aiken's water has elevated levels. We live near downtown and our water is fine.

If I were you, I would redo that post so that no one could see how ill informed you are.

KSL
131317
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KSL 07/26/10 - 04:54 pm
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By the way, if you know

By the way, if you know geography, you will know that Lexington County is even further away from SRS and they have more wells with elevated levels.

dwb619
94868
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dwb619 07/26/10 - 05:01 pm
0
0
Can anybody say Tuscaloosa

Can anybody say Tuscaloosa Aquifer?

curly123053
4748
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curly123053 07/26/10 - 10:46 pm
0
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I live on the southside and

I live on the southside and my water is clear of the radium. Why don't some of you google radium before posting stupidity. Radium is naturally in the ground and has nothing to do with any nuclear facility.

gaspringwater
3
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gaspringwater 07/26/10 - 11:40 pm
0
0
Radium is an alkaline earth

Radium is an alkaline earth metal that's found in trace amounts in uranium ores. Uranium has been found in drinking water at Simpsonville and Fountain Inn, South Carolina. But radium can also be extracted from uranium processing waste.

So the first poster's comment about SRS is a valid concern. Who knows what's leached into the ground over the years. And being assured by someone reaping monetary benefit from SRS is not especially comforting.

KSL
131317
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KSL 07/27/10 - 12:10 am
0
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Someone who has water in his

Someone who has water in his screen name should be embarrassed at that post.

Gasp, would you like to explain why people who are getting City of Aiken water from a source way north of SRS are affected, but yet people who are getting their water from wells much closer to SRS are not under alert?

I await your answer.

KSL
131317
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KSL 07/27/10 - 12:08 am
0
0
Who knows what has leached

Who knows what has leached into the minds of some of the posters over the years?

Toomuchbull
0
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Toomuchbull 07/29/10 - 10:08 pm
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I think it has more to do

I think it has more to do with the EPA Super-fund site at a hidden, abandoned plant called Feldspar. Inc located right next to the City of Aiken's reservoir. This is also only a mile or so from the Shiloh Springs pumping station on a small dirt road called Mason's Branch. There is only a white pipe gate on a dirt trail which leads up to the plant. Who knows what they did in there a few short years manufacturing chems there before leaving it for the taxpayers to clean up.
Use Google Earth to find Mason Branch Road in Aiken County. The plant is near the junction of Piper Rd and is clearly visible from satellite image. It's funny the Aiken officials have not mentioned a word about this contaminated plant. It is well hidden and I wonder why it was ever given a permit next to our drinking water supply?

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