By David A. Kaiser III

The number one thing water softeners do to protect your life is remove radioactive radium from water.

Old radium coated watch dials.

Radium is a naturally occurring radioactive particle that exists in the Earth’s crust. Depending on the local geology, radium is found in 90% of private well water in the Midwest. Lake Zurich, IL, Barrington,IL, Bartlett, IL and Elgin, IL towns get the water from the ground and their water contains high levels radium too. Hence the need for water softeners on city supplied water.

Ion exchange (i.e. water softeners) can often remove 90 percent of radium present along with water hardness.” – Illinois Deportment of Health


Most people get a water softener to take care of aesthetic issues of hard water staining, hard water buildup on faucets, clogged shower heads and clogged plumbing supplies.

What does Radium do to humans?

Once in the human body, radiation is treated like calcium, the body deposits metals and radioactive particles to the bones of our body. We want to avoid things that give us cancer and make us sick.

Radium in drinking water is of primary concern because this radiation may cause cancer, kidney damage, and birth defects. Additionally, the decay of radium into radon presents another contaminant of health concerning drinking water as well as in the air.” – Water Quality Association

As you read this, please don’t worry! Instead, understand that in order for radium to make us sick requires a cumulative effect. Meaning drinking many glasses of water over years of exposure. Generally speaking, ground water is actually cleaner than city supplied water and much cheaper, when ground water is treated properly.

The 10 percent of Americans whose water comes from private wells (individual wells serving fewer than 25 persons) are not required to be protected by these federal standards. People with private wells are responsible for making sure that their own drinking water is safe.” – Environmental Protection Agency

Additional sources…

EPA Guide To Radium

Water Softeners and Radium:

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