Lake Mills’ water supply is safe for drinking, bathing, cooking and all uses.
Lake Mills Light & Water put the notice in the newspaper regarding the radium level in well #4 promptly when information about the radium levels were known. This was done in conjunction with, and according to, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources protocol.
The radium was found in one of three wells in Lake Mills.
The purpose of the DNR notice protocol is to initiate an investigation into the source and the most effective mitigation process to reduce exposure to radium and ensure radium levels do not increase – the notice is not issued because the level is dangerous.
Lake Mills Light & Water is working with the DNR and water quality experts to immediately address this issue. The investigation into the source of the radium and possible mitigation techniques is underway.
Radium (Ra) is a naturally occurring radioactive element that is present in varying amounts in rocks and soil within the earth’s crust.
Low levels of radium in nature are normal. No data shows that long-term exposure to low levels is harmful.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has established a maximum contaminant level (MCL) for radium in public water supplies of 5 picoCuries per liter (pCi/L). LML&W well #4 has a rolling average of 5.5 pCi/L. (A rolling average means the average level over the most recent four water samples.)
The MCL for radium has been set well below levels for which health effects have been observed and is therefore assumed to be protective of public health.
A number of treatment methods are available to remove radium from water. Ion exchange, lime softening, and reverse osmosis are the most common and can remove up to 90 percent of radium present.
Water softeners (ion exchange) can often remove 90 percent of radium present along with water hardness.
If you have further questions on this issue, or any other water related questions, please call Paul Hermanson at 920-648-4026.