Uranium Contamination in Drinking Water Around Tampa Bay, Florida
Presence of Uranium in Drinking Water
Uranium is a radioactive element that occurs naturally in rock, soil, and water across Florida. While low levels of uranium are not considered a major health concern, elevated concentrations above the EPA's maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 30 μg/L can pose health risks if consumed over long periods.
Recent testing has detected uranium concentrations exceeding the safe drinking water standards in certain wells and public water systems around the Tampa Bay region. The primary source of uranium contamination comes from naturally occurring deposits, as the Floridan Aquifer system contains uranium-rich rock formations.
Specific counties, cities, and neighborhoods with confirmed uranium contamination in well water or public supplies above the EPA's MCL include:
Sun City Center
Town 'n' Country
Indian Rocks Beach
New Port Richey
Health Concerns from Uranium Exposure
While uranium is found naturally at low levels in many water sources, elevated concentrations can pose potential health risks when consumed in drinking water over many years.
The main health concern from uranium is kidney toxicity. High uranium intake can damage the kidneys, leading to increased levels of protein in urine, kidney stones, and potential kidney failure in severe cases.
Studies have also linked long-term uranium ingestion to increased cancer risks, reproductive effects, developmental defects in fetuses, and other adverse health effects, although more research is still needed. Children and pregnant women may be especially susceptible.
Symptoms of acute uranium poisoning include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, blood in the urine, kidney pain, headache, and confusion. However, such severe effects are only seen in cases of very high exposures over short time periods, which is unlikely from drinking water alone.
While more research is still needed, current evidence suggests it is prudent to reduce uranium levels in drinking water to as low as reasonably achievable, especially for young children and pregnant women.
Water Treatment Solutions for Uranium
Fortunately, there are effective water treatment methods available to reduce uranium in drinking water down to safe levels. The most reliable options include:
The AquaLux Water Softener uses ion exchange media to efficiently remove uranium, along with water hardness minerals like calcium and magnesium. This is an economical option for whole house uranium reduction.
The AquaCarbonGuard Catalytic Carbon Filter combines activated carbon with a proprietary catalyst to adsorb uranium compounds and other contaminants through a chemical reduction process. It is highly effective for uranium removal.
AquaBlue Whole House Filter Systems utilize a multi-stage filtration process including catalytic carbon to reduce uranium and other contaminants throughout the home.
Reverse osmosis systems like the AquaRevive force water through a semipermeable membrane that filters out uranium along with a wide range of other dissolved contaminants. Ideal for drinking and cooking water.
For private well owners, WellFusion Well Water Treatment Systems offer a customized solution to treat uranium and other well water contaminants using the optimal filtration method for each home.
In some cases, a combination of different treatment systems may be recommended to reduce uranium down to undetectable levels for optimum health protection.
Professional water testing and analysis is recommended to determine the specific treatment required for your water chemistry and uranium levels. Aqua-Wise Water Treatment Solutions provides complimentary water testing and works with each customer to engineer the right water purification system for their needs.
The Floridan Aquifer System
The source of uranium in well water is primarily from naturally occurring uranium deposits within the Floridan Aquifer system underlying Florida. This expansive aquifer system consists of porous limestone, dolomite, and sand formations which hold vast reserves of groundwater.
While the Floridan Aquifer provides high-quality drinking water for many across Florida, some regions contain uranium-rich rock that can dissolve and contaminate groundwater when conditions are right. Proper water treatment is required to remove uranium before consumption.
Learn more about the Floridan Aquifer system here.
Effects of Hard Water on Personal Care
In addition to uranium, hard water containing excess calcium and magnesium is common around Tampa Bay, which can also negatively impact skin, hair, and laundry. Learn more about hard water's effects on personal care here.
Don't Ignore Hard Water Problems
Hard water causes a wide range of nuisance problems in the home beyond personal care issues. Learn about common hard water problems you shouldn't ignore.
Discounts, Promotions, and Financing Options
Aqua-Wise is currently offering discounts on whole house water softeners and filtration systems for customers in the Tampa Bay area seeking to treat hard water and uranium contamination.
Financing options are also available upon approval to pay for water purification systems over time with low monthly payments.
Schedule a Free Tampa Bay Water Test
To see if your water contains concerning levels of uranium or other contaminants, schedule your free Tampa Bay water test today by calling 727-236-7161.
EPA - Uranium in Drinking Water