Elburn to expand radium program

Elburn’s radium treatment is successful so far and will soon be expanded to the well that serves the Blackberry Creek subdivision, village officials said this week. This year, the village started the radium treatment for Well Nos. 3 and 4. Monday, Elburn trustees approved an amendment to a radium removal system agreement and lease with Colorado-based Water Remediation Technology LLC for the new facility at the village’s Well No. 5.

Elburn’s radium treatment is successful so far and will soon be expanded to the well that serves the Blackberry Creek subdivision, village officials said this week.

This year, the village started the radium treatment for Well Nos. 3 and 4. Monday, Elburn trustees approved an amendment to a radium removal system agreement and lease with Colorado-based Water Remediation Technology LLC for the new facility at the village’s Well No. 5.

The system removes trace levels of radium from the water supply in compliance with the federal Clean Water Act.

The facilities consist of metal vessels that serve as filters for Elburn’s water supply. The vessels are stored inside silos built at two of the village’s three well sites. They are designed to pass water through a filter.

Once radium is filtered out it is then permanently removed from the area. “These systems are currently online and operating efficiently,” said Ron Dollar, vice president of marketing for Water Remediation Technology.

Since the facilities have gone on line, the total amount of combined radium, which is measured in picocurries (pCi)/liter, the radium level in Well No. 3 had gone from 13.1 pCi/l down to 0.5 pCi/l.

At Well No. 4, the level was 19.9 pCi/l and is now undetectable.

The maximum contaminant level that is allowed for the water supply is 5 pCi/l.

“This is well below the limit,” Dollar said. “This demonstrates it’s a highly efficient process.”

More than 30 years ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency imposed limits on radium in the water supply. According to studies, radium can slightly increase the risk of bone cancer if consumed over a lifetime. More recently, the EPA set a compliance deadline for communities.

The radium remediation facility at Well No. 5 is under construction, with the vessel expected to be installed within the next few weeks. Costs are being funded by Blackberry Creek developer B&B Homes.

Once complete, the village will only be responsible for paying for the amount of water that is filtered through the facility.

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