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Tests show levels of radium 226 and radium 228
above drinking water standards
Winona public water system routinely monitors for the presence of drinking water contaminants. Recent testing results show that the average level of combined radium 226 and radium 228 at the Johnson Treatment Plant was 5.9 picoCuries per liter (pCi/L) from November 2020; and 6.2 pCi/L from January 2021. This is above the standard, or maximum contaminant level (MCL), of 5.4 pCi/L.
Radium 226 and radium 228 occur naturally within the groundwater. Some people who drink water containing radium in excess of the MCL over many years may have an increased risk of getting cancer.
This is not an emergency. You do not need an alternative source of water, such as bottled water. However if you have specific health concerns, consult your doctor. Home water treatment units are available to reduce radium 226 and radium 228, which include water softening, reverse osmosis, and distillation. It is recommended that these home water treatment units be certified to ensure radium removal. The use of carbon filters is not recommended for removal of radium, as radium may accumulate in the filter over time.
Winona water system is exploring methods to reduce the level of radium 226 and radium 228, which may include an alternative water source or water treatment. You will be informed when our public water system has reduced the level of radium and meets the standard.
Please share this information with all other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.
For more information, please contact: Brent Bunke, Water Department Superintendent