- Lead is odorless and tasteless in water and can be very dangerous
- Whether you have a well on your property or use the public water system, it’s imperative that you check the quality of your water
- If you discover lead in your water, you will most likely need to replace the pipes
Having a clean, healthy water supply is important. In America, 10 to 20 percent of lead exposure cases are a direct result of contaminated water, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Lead is odorless and tasteless in water and can be very dangerous. It accumulates in the body over time and low levels can eventually cause toxicity in the body.
Testing your Water for Lead Contamination
All water should be tested. This is the only way to ensure your water is safe to drink. Whether you have a well on your property or use the public water system, it’s imperative that you check the quality of your water.
If you use the public water system, you can rest assured that it is tested regularly; however, water quality can vary from home to home and it’s still advised that you test your own water. If your home has lead pipes or you have non-plastic pipes that were installed prior to 1986 you absolutely need to test your water.
If you use your town or city’s public water system, you can always ask to see a copy of the Consumer Confidence Report. This report shows the levels of lead in your water. To be considered safe, it should read 15 parts per billion.
For well water, you should test the water when the well is new, and test it regularly when there are children living in the home or a pregnant woman. Children and pregnant women are more susceptible to lead poisoning.
There are two ways to test your water. You can either ask your local water supplier to do a test or you can purchase your own lead testing kit. These kits can be found at most local home improvement stores.
When conducting your own home water test, make sure you follow the testing kit directions. Use the water that first comes to the tap in the morning. Send the water you collect to a state-certified laboratory to be tested.
Reducing Exposure to Lead in Your Water
There are several things you can do to reduce your exposure to lead in your drinking water. First, install a faucet or procure a pitcher that is certified by the National Sanitation Foundation. These faucets and pitchers remove lead from you water.
Additionally, you should clean your faucet’s screen regularly to clear away any minerals that have built up. Make sure you run your tab for up to 30 seconds before you drink water from it. It’s advised that you cook with cold water, as lead is more likely to be present in hot water. You should also use cold water when administering such things as baby formula.
Finally, if you have children or elderly people living in your home, you should test their blood regularly for lead exposure and unusually high levels of lead.
What to Do If You Find Lead in Your Water
If you discover lead in your water, you will most likely need to replace the pipes or fixtures that are causing the water contamination. This may entail specific pipes that need to be updated or you could be looking at a whole house re-piping situation. Pipes should be replaced with PVC, copper, or PEX plastic pipes.
Are you worried about lead contamination in your water? Do you need new pipes? Contact us today!