Johnston County Public Health
June 27, 2019
Smithfield, NC – In light of the recent news release concerning well testing in Wake County in which uranium, radon and radium levels were detected, the Johnston County Health Department is advising of potential private water well contamination in Northern and Western Johnston County.
Citizens of the impacted areas may visit the following website for additional information and resources: http://www.johnstonnc.com/environmentalhealth/
This notice ONLY applies to citizens within the impacted areas that have a private drinking water well. Johnston County citizens that pay a water bill or have public water are not affected.
For more information, please contact the Johnston County Environmental Health Department at 919-989-5180, or visit http://www.johnstonnc.com/environmentalhealth/
Questions or Concerns with Radon, Radium and Uranium: A recent study in Wake County has revealed a potential unsafe level of uranium, radon and radium in drinking water. The drinking water affected is ONLY private water wells. If you pay a water bill then you have public water and your drinking water is not affected. The presence of uranium, radon and/or radium in your drinking water is due to the naturally occurring ground make up of Late Paleozoic Granites and Granodiorites. This rock type is associated with elevated levels of uranium, radon and radium. When these elements make their way into your home or drinking water, they can be a health concern.
What are my Health Risks:
Consuming water that has high levels of Uranium over a long time can cause the risk for kidney toxicity. Certain cancers have been linked to consuming uranium, radon and/or radium contaminated water over a long period.
How do you know if you are affected:
The rock that releases the elements has been located in some small portions of Western and Northern Johnston County. If you have concerns that your home and well may be located in an effected area, please follow the link below to a map of The Geology of North Carolina. This map indicates the geological terranes and major geologic elements that are located in all areas of North Carolina. Use your mouse to scroll to your location. The area of concern in Johnston County is the Late Paleozoic Intrusives and is indicated by a light pink color.
How to have your well water tested:
The only way to be certain that your well water is free of uranium, radium and radon is to have it tested by a private certified laboratory. If you are in one of the affected areas and wish to have your well water tested, the following link takes you to the North Carolina State Lab Web page. All though the North Carolina State Lab does not perform the test, they have created a page in which you can select the component of concern and search for the Certified Laboratory that will perform the test. The following link will take you to the site in which wells can be tested for Uranium, Radium 226, Radium 228, Gross Alpha and Gross Beta.
The following link has a list of additional laboratories that have been certified to test for uranium, radium and radon:
Radon test kits can be obtained from:
What do I do if my well water is contaminated with uranium, radon or radium:
If your well water is tested and confirmed to be contaminated with a toxic level of uranium, radon and/or radium, then stop consumption immediately. Consume only bottled water until the issue is resolved. A water treatment system that uses reverse osmosis or anion exchange can be installed. Another option is to disconnect from the well and connect to public water where available. You can check the availability of public water by contacting your local municipality or Johnston County Public Utilities.
Additional Resources for Information: Johnston County Environmental Health: (919) 989-5180
The North Carolina Radon Program through NCDHHS:
5505 Creedmoor Rd, Suite 100, Raleigh, NC 27612 (
Click here for more information: http://www.johnstonnc.com/envhealth2/