Uranium in Well Water

Glastonbury Health Department Seeking Homeowner Well Water Test Results

The Glastonbury Health Department would appreciate receiving uranium and/or radon water test results from homeowners in town for inclusion in the Town's ongoing uranium in water public health study.  Results can be brought to the Health Department office, (located on the 3rd floor of Town Hall), or emailed to the Director of Health, Wendy Mis, at wendy.mis@glastonbury-ct.govResults will be kept confidential, but will be categorized and depicted on the uranium map

If you decide to treat your water to remove uranium, you can use a reverse osmosis (RO) system or whole house treatment.  Click here to review a summary of possible well water treatment options.  Speak with your water treatment company or call the Glastonbury Health Department at (860) 652-7534 to discuss options.

Who should share their results?

The Glastonbury Health Department invites and appreciates raw well water test data from homeowners with private wells in town as often as every 12-15 months.  Raw water is water collected before it goes through your home's filtration system and can be collected from the spigot at the base of your water tank.  

Homeowners should provide well water test results to the Glastonbury Health Department if they...

  1. Have NOT tested their well water in 12 -15 months or longer.
  2. Have identified levels of uranium but have not provided test results to the Health Department.
  3. Participated in the Spring of 2019 uranium testing but have not conducted testing since and have NOT implemented a treatment system.  If you participated in the testing done in the Spring of 2019, you may wish to test your raw water again before the end of the 2020 calendar year.  

The Health Department does NOT need test results from Homeowners who have...

  1. Provided test results within the past 12-15 months.
  2. Implemented a home water treatment system home to address uranium in your well water.

Overview of Uranium in Well Water

The Glastonbury Health Department supports the Department of Public Health (DPH) recommendation that private well owners in Connecticut should test their well for uranium.

Due to the underlying bedrock, some groundwater in Glastonbury has naturally occurring radon and uranium.  The amount of uranium in bedrock and well water varies greatly from place to place.  The only way to know the level of uranium in your well water is to test your well by taking a raw water sample prior to any treatment such as a water softener or filter. 

The level of risk of uranium in well water is a health-based limit calculated by assuming that a person drinks two liters of water a day for 70 years.  The toxic properties of uranium as a heavy metal may result in kidney damage over time, and there may be a small increase in cancer risk over the course of a lifetime if uranium in water levels are not corrected. 

The US Environmental Protection Association has set a standard of 30 ug/l for uranium.  Uranium in well water at 30ug/l or more exceeds that standard, and should be treated to remove the uranium.   Connecticut Department of Public Health recommends that you do not drink or bathe in water if uranium levels exceed 900 ug/l.  

 

Uranium - Resources for Residents and Ongoing Town Efforts

Update - 2/10/2020

The Town has formally partnered with the Thriving Earth Exchange program as part of its ongoing efforts to address naturally occurring uranium in well water in the Glastonbury community.  A leader in contributing to global well-being, Thriving Earth Exchange has a mission of strengthening and enhancing collaboration among communities, scientists, and partner organizations so that all communities can build healthy, resilient, thriving, just, and ecologically responsible futures.  Through this partnership, several scientists with subject matter expertise will be working with Glastonbury officials to better understand the patterns and levels of uranium in town, and develop next steps to address this local well water challenge.  During recent conversations, one of the scientists connected Glastonbury staff with Wake County, NC officials, who first discovered elevated uranium levels in their well water in 2010.  Over the coming months, the Town will work closely with the Thriving Earth Exchange project team and Wake County officials to better understand the current conditions in Glastonbury and to develop an action plan. 

These partnership efforts are one of many steps the Town of Glastonbury has taken to address uranium concerns in the community.  In February 2019, a homeowner in town shared well water test results with the Glastonbury Health Department, which indicated elevated levels of uranium.  Since that time, the Town has made a concerted effort to support and assist property owners by providing complimentary well water testing, informational resources, and public education forums.  Through a collaboration with the CT Department of Public Health, nearly 600 well water samples have been collected and tested to date, and two neighborhoods of interest were identified in the community.  Residents are reminded to share the results of their uranium in water tests with the Health Department if they have not already done so.  Test results over time of untreated water provide valuable information that will be helpful.  The scientists contracted through the Thriving Earth Exchange program will be focusing their research and analysis on these areas of interest and reporting back to the Town with their findings.  Information collected through these efforts, as well as resources and experience gleaned through conversations with Wake County, will help shape future Town action.   Information will be released to the public as it becomes available.

Residents can stay apprised of these efforts by visiting www.glastonbury-ct.gov/uranium or subscribing to the Town’s eNotification system.  To subscribe, visit www.glastonbury-ct.gov/enotify and sign up or update your email preferences to include the “Well Water” category under the News heading.

Questions regarding these efforts should be directed to the Glastonbury Health Department at (860)-652-7534.

Uranium Update - 9/9/2019

The Town Council discussed private wells, uranium levels, and public water service at its Council meeting on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 (7:00 pm in Council Chambers).  Meeting documents can be viewed here on the Sept 10 Council meeting web page

 

Uranium Testing Update and Location Map - 5/19/2019:

The Town is continuing to take action regarding elevated levels of uranium recently identified in some private wells in the Glastonbury community.  This year, more than 600 homes have been tested to date through the Town’s testing efforts, and more than 500 results have been received back from the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health Laboratory.  The remaining test results are expected within the next few weeks, and will be forwarded to property owners as soon as they are recorded in the Health Department.    

Using results from the water tests, the Town has created a map showing the location and amount of uranium in tested wells.  Elevated levels are associated with the underlying Glastonbury Gneiss bedrock, which is present throughout town. 

 Updated 11/21/19 with new map. Click here to view new map. 

Residents are encouraged to continue to share their own well water sample results with Glastonbury Health Director, Wendy Mis, to support the map’s development

The Town is in discussions with the public water companies serving Glastonbury to explore the potential for extending the public water lines in broadly affected neighborhoods.  Glastonbury will also be submitting an application to the CT Drinking Water State Revolving Fund for a loan, which would support a technical study of factors that could impact expansion of public water systems.  More information will be made available through the town website as it becomes available. 

To stay up-to-date on this effort and other matters of public health, please visit www.glastonbury-ct.gov/enotify and subscribe to "Public Health" updates or contact the Health Department at (860) 652-7534.

Local Water Testing Laboratories*

Glastonbury Health staff have learned that uranium in well water can be tested in select laboratories throughout the state, including the following:

Aquatek
77 Kreiger Ln., Unit #908
Glastonbury, CT 06033
(860) 633-7008
Hours:  M-F 11:00am – 3:00pm
Cost for Uranium and Arsenic: $115
Turnaround time: 3 working days.  

The sampling protocol is as follows: 

  • Draw the sample from a non-leaking, inside cold-water tap
  • Run cold water for at least 5 minutes prior to collection
  • Wash hands prior to collection
  • Remove attachments such as aerators or screens from faucet
  • Fill bottle to the top, and cap bottle securely
  • Try to avoid drawing from cold/hot mixing faucets or from a hose
  • Deliver sample(s) to the lab as soon as possible, no later than 24 hours from collection

Aquatek has provided several sample kits to the Health Department.  Residents who would like to test their water can pick up the kits at the Health Department, collect their own water sample, then deliver the sample, paperwork, and payment, to Aquatek on Kreiger Lane.  They have a drop box in front for after hours.   

Envirotech
77 Cook Hill Rd., Windsor, CT
(860) 688-7249
Hours: M-F, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Cost: Uranium - $75; Arsenic - $25
Turnaround time: 4 working days

For after hours: There’s a drop-box on front porch; fill out the information and leave a check

  • Bring the sample in your own clean container – must be at least 12 oz. & can use a water bottle
  • Let the water run for a few minutes before you take the sample

Tunxis Laboratories
100 Northwest Dr., Plainville, CT
(860) 793-8866
Hours: M-F  8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Turnaround time: 5 working days
Cost: Uranium - $50; Arsenic - $25 

  • Bring the sample in your own clean container – must be at least 1 pint & can use a water bottle
  • Let the water run for a few minutes before you take the sample
  • Bring in the same day as you collect the water
  • There is no sign out front for the lab. The sign reads "Loureiro Engineering". Enter the front door and someone will direct you

Click for a list of in-state laboratories certified to test for Arsenic (As) and Uranium (U).

*This list was updated 2/25/2019

Water Treatment Companies

Our office has created a list of water treatment companies in the area but there are certainly many more that are available to treat your well water.

Educational Seminar

In April of 2018, the Health Department hosted an educational seminar for residents concerned with uranium levels in their well water. Speakers included an Epidemiologist and Sanitary Engineer from the CT Department of Health, who provided an overview of what levels of uranium should be of concern, as well as potential health affects related to uranium in well water.  A representative from Hydropure Water Treatment Company then spoke to the various systems residents can install to remove uranium from their well water.  Click here to view the recorded Uranium in Well Water Presentation from April 2018.

 

Click here to view information on other water contaminants.