Uranium in Drinking Water

A decorative photo of sample bottles next to a sink with the tap running.

‘Uranium is a weakly radioactive metal that occurs naturally in many different minerals. It can also get into sources of drinking water from human activities, such as:

  • burning coal and other fuels
  • emissions from nuclear industry
  • mining and processing of minerals
  • using phosphate fertilizers containing high levels of uranium in agriculture

Levels of uranium in natural water sources in Canada depend on the rock formations and human activity in the area. Uranium in drinking water in Canada is generally low, but higher values have been reported in areas with large uranium deposits.

The only way to know if you have elevated levels of uranium in your drinking water is to have the water tested. If you are interested in testing your drinking water for the presence of uranium, particularly if you have a private well, you should contact your municipality or local public health authority for advice and assistance with the testing.’ (Health Canada)


Health Canada, Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality Guideline Technical Document – Uranium

Health Canada, Uranium in Drinking Water Document for Public Consultation (closed Dec.29, 2017)

Health Canada, Water Talk – Uranium in drinking water

World Health Organization, Uranium in Drinking Water

Government of Manitoba, Uranium in Manitoba Drinking Water Supplies fact sheet

Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Uranium in Well Water

Government of Nova Scotia, Uranium in Nova Scotia’s Drinking Water

Government of Quebec, Contaminants in Drinking Water Wells – Uranium

Government of Prince Edward Island, Uranium in drinking water

Connecticut Department of Public Health, What You Need to Know About Uranium in Drinking Water

South and West Devon Health Authority, Uranium in Drinking Water fact sheet

Wellowner.org, Uranium, is my well at risk?

Video Training Modules

National Ground Water Association, Uranium in Drinking Water and What to Do About It


US EPA, Treatability Database for uranium

US EPA, Fundamentals of Radium and Uranium Removal from Drinking Water Supplies

Government of Nova Scotia, Removing uranium from drinking water using reverse osmosis 

Water Quality Association, Uranium fact sheet