5+ Facts You Need to Know About Drinking Well Water After a Nuclear Fallout

Well water can become contaminated with radioactive material after a nuclear fallout, affecting not just water but the entire food supply.

Drinking Well Water After a Nuclear Fallout

What’s the number one thing we need to survive? Water. In the case of well water, it comes from underground sources, so it’s for the radiological particles to infiltrate.

Let’s take a deep dive into well water and why an adequate filtration system now will it save you from nuclear fallout in the future.

Disclosure: This site earns commissions from listed merchants at no cost to you. Thank you!

Is well water safe to drink after nuclear attack?

Well water is sketchy to consume after any emergency, especially flooding or weapons of mass destruction. Aquifers and wells become contaminated with radioactive material that can lead to serious side effects.

Sign up for email updates & get our list of 5 underrate emergency tools under $50

5 Facts You Need to Know About Drinking Well Water After a Nuclear Fallout

If you’ve survived a thermonuclear weapons attack, the next obstacle is food and water. It’s estimated that 5 billion people will die in the aftermath because of hunger – which you can start preventing now. 

1. Fallout affects more than water.

Radioactive pollution seeps into water tables and wells after traveling through the oceans into the atmosphere through the water cycle and back down into the ground.

It will affect more than your well water in the event of nuclear fallout. Radioactive materials will sneak into the air, soil, water, and, ultimately, the entire food supply.

2. Radioactive material is everywhere.

Some radiation is part of our everyday environments, and we come into contact with minuscule amounts daily. And long-term exposure to even small amounts in your well water can lead to big health problems.

Where can I find clean water after a nuclear fallout?

Deep wells and sealed tanks are the best places to scrounge up uncontaminated water. So, it makes sense that if you’ve got a deep well, your water is safer. There’s a decent chance that underground streams will remain unaffected unless it’s an outlet for an above-ground source.

Oddly enough, water from any sewage pit will be clean of radioactive materials if it doesn’t use outside water or shallow wells. You’ll still want to filter all the water in the case of a nuke attack to be safe. 

3. Radioactive contamination can cause cancer.

Acute or long-term exposure to radioactive materials can cause a diverse variety of cancers.

  • Stomach
  • Lung
  • Bladder & kidney cancer
  • Esophageal 
  • Testicular cancer 
  • Breast cancer 

Studies show that drinking water contaminated with radionuclides can cause serious health issues.

  • Male infertility
  • Higher rate of stillborn births
  • Congenital heart disease

Does nuclear fallout contaminate water?

Nukes will contaminate all surface water and well water. If you already have a water filtration installed, you’re one step closer to surviving a nuclear attack.

4. You can test well water for radiation.

GQ GMC-500Plus Geiger Counter Nuclear Radiation Detector Monitor Dosimeter, White

Over 43 million Americans use private wells as a water source. The quality and safety of the water from privately owned wells aren’t regulated by the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act, which means it’s up to the owner to test for radiation.

You can buy radiation detection kits online or through your local waterworks department.

Radioactive water

Radiological pollution invades water sources. It comes from power plants and nuclear-related accidents like nuclear fallout.

Radioactive water happens on its own, too, because of naturally occurring elements like radium, uranium, and radon.

5. Radioactive particles don’t disappear.

While radioactive materials have a half-life, they never truly disappear; they only get less potent over time. The half-life of the particles can vary from a few seconds to millions of years.

Is tap water safe after a nuclear explosion?

Radioactive materials will affect tap water because they pollute groundwater and surface water. But, in the event of a nuclear fallout or any other disaster of such magnitude, you may have to drink it to stay alive.

Nuclear Detonation Safety: Tap water

Hopefully, you have stored bottled water and sealed beverages for precisely this type of emergency. So you’ll rely on it as long as you can. The water that’s already in the toilet tank or water heater is your next option. 

You will have to drink just enough tap water to stay hydrated and alive as a last resort.

Is well water safe after nuclear fallout?

If you have the proper filtration, well water is safer to drink than contaminated tap water.  

Can you make radioactive water drinkable?

Drinking radioactive water is the last thing any of us want to do, with or without nuclear fallout. The good news is that you can safely filter well water to make it drinkable.

Clay earth filtration

Human-made filtration systems were tried and tested by our ancestors. Clay-earth is a process and probably not the filtration system you’d go with. But it’s good to know during a disaster when you can’t just grab one at the local hardware store.

Soil filtration

Soil filtration works the same way as clay earth and can remove up to 99% of all contaminants from a water source.

Can you boil radiation out of water?

Boiling water can save you from living organisms but does nothing to remove radioactive material. But filtering it further only takes the extra step of collecting the steam from the contaminated water and condensing it back into the water.

Ultra-high efficiency filters

Reverse osmosis and ion exchange filters are efficient when removing radioactive materials from water. Most of these types of filters remove up to 99% of contamination.

Reverse osmosis filters vs ion exchange filters

  • Reverse osmosis (RO). It’s a process that includes water being forced through a thin barrier that filters out most of the water contamination. It sometimes comes with a simple hand-operated pump or a 12-volt power unit.
  • Ion exchange filters. Instead of using pressure to force water, these filters use electrician-charged resins that attract and bind the bad stuff in the water as it washes over them. Ion exchange filters aren’t as standard as reverse osmosis, but they’re as efficient and effective.


Distillation is likely the most used and well-known water filtration system out there. It’s straightforward, effective, and done simply with a heat source and container. Distillation will be the method that will save your life during a nuclear fallout because it removes most contaminants.

  • bacteria
  • viruses
  • minerals 
  • dissolved solids
  • radioactive materials

The science behind distillation is simple. You will heat water to its boiling point (212oF) and collect the steam into a different vessel. The only drawback to distillation is that it’s not going to do the job on a large scale, but it’s enough to save you and your family from dehydrating and dying.

Is rainwater safe to drink after a nuclear fallout?

After a nuclear-related event, rain runoff from roofs and other outside surfaces will contain more radioactive material than most other areas. It will take a few heavy bouts of rain before the fallout is washed away and the water is safe to drink.

Nuclear fallout disaster kit

While water is essential for survival, you will need supplies to make it through a thermonuclear weapon attack. The first 24-48 hours are the most crucial.

FEMA recommends that you store 1 gallon of water per person daily, and it should last at least three days.

  • Hand-cranked or battery-powered radio that includes NOAA Weather Radio that has the tone alert.
  • Dust masks filter the air you breathe.
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape so that you can shelter in place.
  • Nonperishable food for at least three days.
  • Wet wipes, trash bags, and plastic ties for sanitation to save on water.
  • Wrench or pliers so you can cut the utilities.
  • Flashlight.
  • Emergency whistle.
  • Fully stocked first-aid kits. (extra OTC and prescribed medication).
  • Lots and lots of batteries.
  • Can opener for canned foods.
  • Paper maps (your smart devices will be useless if nukes hit).
  • Extra pet food and water for any animals.
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Warm blankets and sleeping bags, especially for cold climates.
  • A match supply is stored in a waterproof container.

Similar Posts