Among the most significant matrices in the field of environmental radioactivity, water is
certainly included, being subject to monitoring and controls to safeguard the environment from possible
anthropogenic contamination. The presence of radionuclides in water also constitutes a health
risk to human, because its consumption increases the likelihood of incurring cancer.
In authors’ laboratory, different experimental techniques were employed to measure radioactivity
content of surface and drinking water, according to the Italian Legislation and to the Italian Institute
for the Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA) guidelines. Gamma spectrometry was
employed to quantify the specific activity of gamma-emitters anthropogenic contaminants and natural
radionuclides; liquid scintillation counting (LSC), to measure the activity concentration of tritium,
radon and gross alpha and beta; total alpha/beta counting, with the thick source method, to detect
about gross alpha and beta specific activity; emanometry, to estimate gas radon activity concentration.