Date of Award

Spring 2022

Project Type

Thesis

Program or Major

Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Michael R. Collins

Second Advisor

Weiwei Mo

Third Advisor

Thomas P. Ballestero

Abstract

Radon-222 is a naturally occurring radioactive noble gas that is colorless, tasteless, and odorless and has been a known carcinogenic since the early 1920’s. Radon in groundwater can lead to inhalation of radon through off gassing caused by water-use processes such as showering, flushing toilets, and washing machines. The objective of this study is to develop a simple ground water aeration system to remove radon at the individual household level. The aeration system studied in this research utilized a venturi injector, which is considered a passive method of aeration unlike the aeration systems currently available in the market. With enough venturi pressure differential from inlet to effluent and initial influent pressure, air is injected into the water and air-stripping of radon can occur. The first section of this project was recreating Mazzei® estimates and optimizing the system. The second part was conducting two field experiments to test the system using ground water with radon in Lee, NH. Through field experiments radon removals ranged from around 16% to 68%. Empty bed contact time (EBCTs) ranging from 11 to 30 seconds did not influence radon removals and general relationships between DP/Po, A:W, and radon removals could be made. Overall, the system has great potential to lower radon concentrations in drinking water, while being an easy-to-use system with little maintenance and without the need of a mechanical aerator.

Available for download on Tuesday, August 02, 2022

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