RADIONUCLIDE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR DRINKING WATER

Water Protection Program fact sheet
04/2019
Division of Environmental Quality Director: Ed Galbraith
PUB02755

This publication provides drinking water systems general information on the available treatment technologies for the removal of radium, uranium, and gross alpha particle activity, the residuals produced by each technology, disposal options, and the regulations governing these options.

Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL)
In accordance with 10 CSR 60-4.060, all community water systems must comply with the following MCLs for radionuclides:

Nontreatment Compliance Options

Treatment Options

Ion exchange water softening

Reverse osmosis filters

Pre-formed hydrous manganese oxide filtration (HMO)

Water remediation technology Z-88 radium removal system (WRT) – proprietary filter media

This is not a comprehensive list of technologies and assumes facilities are designed, constructed, operated and maintained properly.Water systems should not rely solely on this document when making treatment technology decisions; it is important to consult closely with an experienced Missouri registered professional engineer in selecting a treatment solution.

Residuals Management
Filter backwash water and residuals produced by the above mentioned treatment options can include liquid waste (backwash water, rinse water, etc.) and/or solid waste (spent media, resins, or membranes). Disposal options can include discharge to a sewer system, land application, obtaining a General Operating Permit from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for direct discharge, and disposal  in a landfill. For more information about obtaining a General Operating Permit, visit https://dnr.mo.gov/env/wpp/permits/issued/wpcpermits-general.htm

Cost Estimate

Ion Exchange

Reverse Osmosis

HMO

WRT

$18,000 - $45,000

$35,000 - $550,000

$120,000 - $465,000

~$105,000

The above cost estimates were obtained from Engineering Reports submitted to the Department by systems with populations between 25-450 evaluating different treatment options for radionuclides. These cost estimates are only for the initial capital cost of the treatment system and do not include costs for site work, plumbing and electric for the building, engineering, legal, or operation and maintenance costs.

Where to Find Help
The Department offers financial assistance for eligible small community water systems serving a population less than or equal to 3,300, or community water systems with larger populations that will provide benefit to these small community water systems, to fund engineering report services. This funding allows public water systems to hire an engineer to study their water system and advise them on how to achieve or maintain compliance with drinking water rules and regulations. The program is not a loan program, but rather provides grants to water systems based on their eligibility and priority. More information

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Financial Assistance Center in the Water Protection Program provides funding to communities for water infrastructure projects with the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loans and grants and the Small Borrower Loan program. For more information, contact the Department’s Financial Assistance Center at 573-751-1192.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA – RD) loans and grants help very small, financially distressed rural communities finance drinking water source, treatment, storage and distribution improvements to serve rural areas and towns. For more information, contact the USDA-RD Missouri office at 573-876-0976.

Missouri Department of Economic Development’s Community Development Block Grant offers grants to small Missouri communities to improve local facilities, address critical health and safety concerns, and develop a greater capacity for growth. For more information, contact the Missouri Department of Economic Development at 573-751-3600.

You may request an appointment for a compliance assistance visit from the Department. This visit will assist with understanding regulatory requirements, help with achieving and maintaining compliance, and provide a continuing resource for technical assistance. To request a compliance assistance visit, please contact your local regional office or fill out an online request.

Other Links

Types of Ionizing Radiation
EPA - Radionuclides Rule
EPA – Compliance Help with Radionuclides in Drinking Water: https://cfpub.epa.gov/safewater/radionuclides/radionuclides.cfm