Uranium in Drinking Water

Uranium is a naturally occurring mineral present in certain types of rocks and soil found throughout the United States, including Northeast Washington. This type of naturally occurring uranium metal is slightly radioactive and is not to be confused with other forms of uranium, such as enriched uranium which is highly radioactive.

Naturally occurring uranium has always been present in some of our area’s drinking water.  As groundwater passes through rocks and soil, uranium is dissolved and becomes present in the groundwater which may be used as a source of drinking water.  The amount of uranium in bedrock and well water varies greatly from place to place.

Recent monitoring in Northeast Washington has shown elevated levels of uranium in private drinking water wells.