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RALEIGH — Wake County officials this week began offering citizens concerned about contamination in their well water help to understand the results of water tests.
The county’s environmental services department will continue to hold regular public meetings on Thursdays to help well owners decide if they should treat their water for uranium, radon or radium.
Attendees are asked to register online at surveymonkey.com/r/V6RB66Z to save space at an upcoming meeting on Aug. 29.
The meeting will be 6-8 p.m. at the Wake County Human Services Center, 10 Sunnybook Road, Raleigh. Additional meetings may be added after this month.
“These meetings are the best way for people who have questions about their well water test results to get answers,” said Groundwater Protection and Wells Manager Evan Kane. “We’re going to help you read your results, understand the potential risks and decide what you want to do next.”
Attendees should bring a copy of their water test results as well as pen and paper to take notes.
In June, the county began an educational outreach campaign alerting well owners in eastern Wake County of the likelihood their well water may contain naturally elevated amounts of uranium, radon or radium.
Drinking water contaminated with uranium can cause kidney toxicity in the short-term, according to county officials. Drinking water with high levels of uranium or radium can also increase the risk of certain cancers in the long-term, as can bathing in water with high levels of radon.
Those most at-risk are infants, young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with autoimmune disorders or compromised immune systems, including those undergoing chemotherapy.
Anyone concerned about possible exposure to these elements is asked to talk with a medical provider.
According to county officials, uranium, radon and radium are naturally occurring in the underground rock.
The potential contamination concerns a swath of land from Wake Forest, Rolesville, downtown Raleigh, eastern Raleigh and Garner, as well as everything east of that, including Zebulon, Wendell and Knightdale. A portion near Fuquay-Varina also may have unsafe well water.
The county says one in five wells in eastern Wake may be affected by the contamination. The contamination does not impact municipal water, which is treated for these elements and regularly tested.
For more information, visit wakegov.com/wells or call 919-893-9355.