Radon gas closes one of Helen’s five wells

13 09 2008

By Debbie Gilbert
dgilbert@gainesvilletimes.com

Last week, the city of Helen shut down one of its five wells after a radioactive gas, radon, was detected in the water.

Helen city manager Jerry Elkins said the city should be able to get along fine with its remaining four wells. But the situation is a reminder that radon can be found not just in the air but also in water, and at high levels it can be a threat to human health.

“We voluntarily shut (the well) down, just to be on the safe side,” said Elkins, adding that the Georgia Environmental Protection Division has asked the city to retest the well, to make sure the initial reading was correct.

Though located directly on the Chattahoochee River, Helen does not withdraw water from it and relies on wells for its water supply.

The affected well, located in the Innsbruck subdivision, is by far the lowest producing of the five, Elkins said.

“We only get about 5,000 gallons out of it every three days,” he said. “None of that water is pumped to downtown, and only about 10 percent of the water that goes to Innsbruck is produced from that well.”

Read on here.

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