State to test aquifers for radium

May 15, 1998

The state Department of the Environment plans to test for naturally occurring radium in wells in the Magothy and Patapsco rivers' aquifers in parts of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Cecil, Harford, Kent, Queen Anne's and Prince George's counties.

The study was prompted by the discovery of elevated levels of radium in wells in the northern and western sections of Anne Arundel.

Naturally occurring radium in water does not pose an immediate health problem and can be removed by water treatment. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warns of small, long-term health risks from drinking water with a radium level above EPA standards.

The sampling will begin this month. Preliminary results should be available by October. The MDE will contact the 100 to 150 residents whose wells will be included.

Information: MDE, 410-631- 3702; or on the World Wide Web at www.mde.state.md.us.

Pub Date: 5/15/98

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