As a screening procedure, gross alpha and gross beta activity have been developed to determine whether further analysis of water samples related to specific radionuclide is necessary. In China, the determination of gross alpha and gross beta in drinking water was generally based on the HJ standard method: HJ 898-2017, water quality — determination of gross alpha activity — thick source method, and HJ 899-2017, water quality — determination of gross beta activity — thick source method. In this study, 15 water samples from Bahe river in Chan Ba region of Xi’an in China, were pretreated and analyzed by BH1216-III low background alpha and beta scintillation counter.

The water samples were collected nearby residential area, wetland park, water conservation district and urban sewage treatment plant as well as other important locations which probably influence on the radioactivity level. The values of the activity concentrations of the gross alpha and beta measured in the water samples ranged from less than LD to 0.183Bq/L with a mean of 0.077Bq/L and 0.073–0.151Bq/L with a mean 0.102Bq/L respectively. All values of samples were lower than the limit level of 0.500Bq/L for gross alpha and 1.000Bq/L for gross beta, indicating that the radioactivity level in Bahe water between Chan Ba region of Xi’an is basically within the normal environmental background.

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