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Strontium-90

Status: No national drinking water standard exists

 

Strontium is a metal that accumulates in the bones. Radioactive strontium-90 can cause bone cancer and leukemia, and any form of strontium at high doses can harm bone health. Read More.

Strontium-90 has been emitted widely by nuclear power plants, weapons facilities, waste sites and nuclear research facilities. Strontium-90 is structurally similar to calcium and is thus taken up into bones. The chief health concerns from strontium-90 exposure are bone cancer and leukemia.

No federal drinking water standards for strontium-90 exist. California set a legal maximum of 8 picocuries of strontium-90 radioactivity per liter of water. California also has a public health goal of no more than 0.35 picocuries of strontium-90 per liter of drinking water. According to studies by the U.S. Geological Survey, strontium-90 also is a concern for water quality in private wells.

Click here to read more on radiological contaminants.

2010-2015:

FOUND
FOUND ABOVE HEALTH GUIDELINES

9

states detected

88

utilities detected

4.2 million

people served

5

states over health guideline

20

utilities over health guideline

1.3 million

people served over health guideline

Health concerns for strontium-90

Cancer

Harm to bones

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

Health Guideline 0.35 pCi/L

The health guideline of 0.35 pCi/L for strontium-90 was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a public health goal, the level of a drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. This health guideline protects against cancer.

pCi/L = picocuries per liter.

States reporting strontium-90 in drinking water

UTILITIES REPORTING ABOVE HEALTH GUIDELINES UTILITIES WITH CONTAMINATION
State UtilitiesPeople Served UtilitiesPeople Served
California13938,369703,663,914
Nevada1275,0002294,081
New Mexico00588,090
Washington377,714377,714
Wisconsin00129,070
North Carolina12,14312,143
Connecticut24123913
Texas002601
Pennsylvania00180
MORE
LESS

Utilities with the highest amounts of strontium-90, 2010-2015

ALL UTILITIES
LARGE UTILITIES
UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
City of Kennewick*Kennewick, WA1 of 113.90 pCi/L77,347
City of HendersonLas Vegas, NV1 of 10.99 pCi/L275,000
Golden State Water Company - Morongo Del SurApple Valley, CA4 of 40.90 pCi/L2,663
Brandywine BayMorehead City, NC1 of 10.87 pCi/L2,143
Candlewood Trails Association Inc.New Milford, CT2 of 40.59 pCi/L312
Weston Water SupplyWeston, CT1 of 20.56 pCi/L100
Palmdale Water District*Palmdale, CA2 of 20.44 pCi/L116,183
City of Rialto*Rialto, CA3 of 30.43 pCi/L48,623
North Marin Water District - Pt. ReyesNovato, CA1 of 10.41 pCi/L1,700
Woodside Rv ParkFort Bragg, CA2 of 30.39 pCi/L280
California American Water Company - MontereyMonterey, CA2 of 170.38 pCi/L96,754
Golden State WC - PlacentiaAnaheim, CA8 of 80.38 pCi/L36,374
City of VacavilleElmira, CA10 of 110.36 pCi/L96,735
Lakewood Water Department*Lakewood, CA3 of 30.36 pCi/L59,081
Farm Mutual Water Company (the)Wildomar, CA1 of 10.36 pCi/L3,335
City of Escondido*Escondido, CA5 of 50.31 pCi/L145,901
City of Paint RockPaint Rock, TX1 of 70.30 pCi/L280
Brookfield Water UtilityBrookfield, WI1 of 10.30 pCi/L29,070
Calleguas Municipal Water District*Thousand Oaks, CA73 of 1180.29 pCi/L0
Southern California Edison Company-Santa CatalinaAvalon, CA1 of 20.29 pCi/L4,200
Twin Creeks Mobile and Rv VillageKelseyville, CA1 of 10.26 pCi/L50
Ventura Waterworks District No. 8 - Simi ValleySimi Valley, CA2 of 30.26 pCi/L86,000
Silver Creek Village Water Supply CorporationBurnet, TX1 of 90.22 pCi/L321
South Coventry Water Supply CompanyCoventry, CT1 of 20.22 pCi/L501
City of Fountain ValleyFountain Valley, CA26 of 260.21 pCi/L56,464
Irvine Ranch Water District*Irvine, CA26 of 260.20 pCi/L370,000
Riveredge RentalsSpring City, PA3 of 40.18 pCi/L80
Three Valleys Municipal Water District*Claremont, CA4 of 60.17 pCi/L0
Nellis Air Force BaseNellis Afb, NV1 of 20.17 pCi/L19,081
Buckman Regional Water Treatment Plant*Santa Fe, NM4 of 40.11 pCi/L0

* This water utility supplies finished drinking water to at least one other water utility. The purchasing utility is not required to test for or report Strontium-90, but it likely has the contaminant in its water supply.

MORE
LESS
UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
City of Kennewick*Kennewick, WA1 of 113.90 pCi/L77,347
City of HendersonLas Vegas, NV1 of 10.99 pCi/L275,000
Palmdale Water District*Palmdale, CA2 of 20.44 pCi/L116,183
City of Rialto*Rialto, CA3 of 30.43 pCi/L48,623
California American Water Company - MontereyMonterey, CA2 of 170.38 pCi/L96,754
Golden State WC - PlacentiaAnaheim, CA8 of 80.38 pCi/L36,374
City of VacavilleElmira, CA10 of 110.36 pCi/L96,735
Lakewood Water Department*Lakewood, CA3 of 30.36 pCi/L59,081
City of Escondido*Escondido, CA5 of 50.31 pCi/L145,901
Brookfield Water UtilityBrookfield, WI1 of 10.30 pCi/L29,070
Ventura Waterworks District No. 8 - Simi ValleySimi Valley, CA2 of 30.26 pCi/L86,000
City of Fountain ValleyFountain Valley, CA26 of 260.21 pCi/L56,464
Irvine Ranch Water District*Irvine, CA26 of 260.20 pCi/L370,000
Nellis Air Force BaseNellis Afb, NV1 of 20.17 pCi/L19,081
California Water Service - StocktonSan Jose, CA1 of 10.11 pCi/L185,346
Walnut Park Mutual Water CompanyHuntington Park, CA1 of 10.10 pCi/L16,180
Sunnyslope County Water DistrictHollister, CA3 of 120.08 pCi/L19,189
Mesa Water DistrictCosta Mesa, CA3 of 30.06 pCi/L108,000
Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District*Lake Elsinore, CA2 of 40.05 pCi/L142,264
City of Petaluma*Petaluma, CA1 of 20.03 pCi/L55,900

* This water utility supplies finished drinking water to at least one other water utility. The purchasing utility is not required to test for or report Strontium-90, but it likely has the contaminant in its water supply.