1,658,370. This is the number of new cases of cancer estimated to be diagnosed for the year 2015 in the United States alone, according to The National Cancer Institute.

In an attempt to reduce this number, we as human beings should find any cancer causing habit or material and remove or reduce its presence from our lives. This would include life habits such as avoiding the UV rays of the sun, maintaining a healthy diet, and avoiding tobacco at all costs.

In addition to the well-known causes, there are some gases people may not even know about. One of these is radon. Radon is a gas that seeps into groundwater and can even enter your drinking water. As another potential cancer causing element you might come across while testing/installing pumps, it’s best to nip radon in the bud by testing and removing it from the source sooner rather than later.

What exactly is this mysterious gas? Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that has escaped out of the earth’s crust and into the basements of thousands of homes across the nation. Waterborne radon in particular is difficult to detect as it usually originates in deep wells that tap radon-contaminated groundwater.

The realization of radon’s presence and its effect on the human body reached high publicity in the late 1980’s and continues to be studied and prevented today. With different areas of the country seeing lower or higher amounts of this lung cancer causing gas, it’s hard to find the best formula when placing regulations from region to region. It also doesn’t help that the best way of testing and detecting radon is currently through sampling and analysis of the alpha and beta rays it consists of. This analysis is done by performing direct water samplings.

There are a handful of ways to reduce and maybe even eliminate radon from the source with practices such as the use of (GAC) activated carbon unit filters and aeration. Over time, it’s become evident that aeration is the safest and most efficient practice as long as it’s coupled with a cistern pump. With the combination of these two, the aeration method can continue dumping as much water as necessary into the atmospheric storage while the cistern pump will be there to re-pressurize and help the water flow appropriately.

Although the GAC filter method is effective, its biggest downside is that any radon present will become radioactive as the filter picks up the gas. This can lead to the build-up of a different type of radon that gives off harmful radioactive rays as it starts to decay. It’s then highly recommended to place the GAC unit in an isolated unit with a shield covering it in order to avoid the radioactive rays. That being said, the aeration method is preferred because it’s safer all-around while removing up to 99.9% of radon in the area.

Although cistern pumps aren’t always a necessity to the aeration method, it’s important to know when to utilize this pump. Cistern pumps are fairly common in applications where water radon systems are used, as well as for homes that do not have enough water available via the well or municipal supply and require atmospheric storage.

Whether you’re looking to have your home’s radon levels tested or questioning if your current radon removal method is up to par, one thing is for certain: depending on the situation, combining the aeration method with a cistern pump could be the best way to tell radon – and lung cancer - who’s boss.