Government of Nova Scotia Government of Nova Scotia Nova Scotia, Canada


Drinking Water

Removing Radon from Drinking Water

Radon in drinking water is not considered to be a health issue. There is no Canadian guideline stating what is a safe level of radon in drinking water. However, if you are concerned and want to remove it from your supply, there are three ways to do it in Nova Scotia: aeration, distillation, and granular activated carbon.

The chart below lets you compare them to decide which is best for you

There is a list of laboratories that can test your water for radon at the end of this fact sheet.

Removing Radon from Drinking Water
Method Application Reliability Cost (2004 prices)
Aeration Large and small central systems, households and institutions. Reliable if equipment kept in good condition according to manufacturer's instructions. Unit: Approximately $4,000 installed. The only operating cost is for electricity.
Distillation Useful for applications where up to approximately 70 litres of water a day is used for drinking and cooking. Very Unit: $2,000-$2,500. The only operating cost is for electricity.
Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) Check with the supplier regarding volumes of water to be treated and about the proper disposal of the used filters or call the NSEL for more information. Reliable if manufacturer's instructions are followed. Filters usually require replacement after 2-3 months. Units capable of treating approximately 350 litres of water cost between $20 - $60. Operating costs include changing the carbon bed, $120-$200 every 2 years.

For more information check the Yellow Pages of your telephone book under the heading Water Treatment for a list of water treatment dealers.

You asked about... is a series of fact sheets produced by Nova Scotia Environment. For additional copies, contact the regional or head office nearest you.


Labs that test for radon in drinking water:

QEII Health Sciences Centre
Environmental Chemistry Laboratory, Halifax

Maxxam Analytics Inc., Bedford
(902) 420-0203