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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
3:19 AM Wed, Jan. 16th

Letter: Dangerous Dells


After reading the article “Homes along Peavine Trail,” I became concerned about the prospect of seeing a signature of Prescott destroyed all because a few. The plan for 3,850 new homes in the Dells would be an environmental disaster. We understand what it would mean to destroy the beauty of the Dells, and we also understand how these homes would stress on our water supply, but there is one other factor most developers do not want you to know.

The Granite Dells are a 1.3 billion-year-old geological feature and these granites happen to carry a very high concentration of uranium. Average granites within Arizona consist of 4 to 5 parts per million uranium, but the Dell granites consist of Uranium as high as 45-50 parts per million. I have visited this area and found the radioactivity to be as much as 25 times normal background gamma radiation.

When uranium decays, it produces a radioactive gas called radon. This radon gas migrates up from within the rocks and soil and can become a cancer-causing danger to the occupant of a home. Water wells in the Dells area that the developers plan to utilize have also tested very high in uranium and radon. The EPA sets a standard of 4 pico-curies/liter (a measurement of radon) as a safe level, but one well drilled to 240 feet sometime in the past yielded a radon level of 11,000 pico-curies/liter.

Because of the beauty of the Dells, stressed water supply, and danger of radon/uranium, this project should not proceed.

Tom Howell