A Guide to Lead Water Contamination Testing

The last thing you want is to think about drinking lead when you turn on the water tap to get a glass of water. Lead is a neurotoxin, which has been used for thousands of years in paints and gasoline as well as plumbing. Although adverse health effects of this metallic element were well-known in the 1960s and 1970s, it’s likely that some lead is still in your driveway right now. You read that right. Lead is still found in vehicle batteries.

Lead in your car is one thing, but lead in your water is another. There are solutions and tests that can help you find out if there are any unwelcome guests in the cup.

This is everything you need about lead water testing and contamination.

Common Lead Water Problems

Although lead paint is no longer a major concern, many homes are still affected by lead water contamination. Here are some facts:

What is Lead Poisoning?

Lead poisoning occurs when lead buildup in the body. Lead poisoning can lead to death in some cases.

The World Health Organization states that there is no safe level of lead exposure. However, children are particularly vulnerable. Their bodies absorb four times the amount of lead as adults, resulting in more adverse health effects. These can lead to learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and even higher rates of juvenile delinquency.

How Can Lead Get Into The Drinking Water Supply?

In both the private water wells where submersible pumps or aging structures can corrode and lead to contamination. *

Is All Tap Water Lead-Free?

Some tap water does not contain lead. There are many factors that can determine how much lead is in a water supply.

  • pH level
  • Water source
  • Age of the well/plumbing system
  • Temperature
  • Prevalence of minerals, sediment, and other potential contaminants

Cities with severe lead water problems

Flint, Michigan is perhaps the most well-known case of lead water contamination. In April 2015, measurements revealed that lead levels were 217 at 13,200 parts per million (ppb). This was far higher than the Lead and Copper Rule of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which requires that lead levels not exceed 15 ppb. The state has received $100 million in grants to address the problem.

Signs of Lead in Water

Now that you are familiar with lead and its notorious reputation, how do you determine if your tap water contains this metal? Let’s find the answer.

What are the signs of lead in water?

Lead is not visible or smellable, unlike other water quality issues like sulfur which announces its presence with the smell of rotten eggs.

What Does Lead In Water Taste Like?

It’s not worth trying to taste lead. You may not know that this metal is in your water supply because it’s tasteless.

What Are The Side Effects Of Lead In Water?

Lead is a major threat to living organisms. This means that your home, including any water-using fixtures, appliances, and shower walls, won’t be affected by contamination from hard water. Human skin doesn’t absorb water-based lead, so you’re even a water test is a better way to identify it.

What Are Lead Water Tests?

Lead water tests can help determine if your water supply is contaminated with lead and, if so at what levels. Lead testing is more thorough than at-home kits. Water samples should be sent to accredited laboratories to get a full analysis.

How To Test For Lead In Your Water

It can be difficult to test for lead contamination yourself. It’s best to have experts test lead water for the best and easiest results.

Is There A Safe Level Of Lead In Drinking Water?

Health Canada and Saskatchewan Environment have established a maximum acceptable level for lead in water at 0.010 mg per liter or 10 ppb. In the U.S., the “Maximum contaminant levels goal for lead in drinking water is zero. This is an objective and not a legal guideline.

Lead Water Solutions

What can you do if your lead water test identifies this sneaky contaminant? These are some important points to remember:

Boiling Water Can Remove Lead

Boiling water won’t eliminate lead. Warm or hot water can have higher concentrations of lead.

How To Remove Lead From Water

Lead removal, just like lead testing requires a professional solution. It is better to drink cold water and prepare food with cold water. You can also “flush”, your water by running the faucet or washing dishes before you drink.

These solutions won’t eliminate lead from water but they will reduce the amount you come in contact with when you use your water supply. This temporary fix is not permanent and will need to be replaced with a better solution.

Lead Water Filters

Installing a high-quality water filtration system is the best way to reduce lead levels in your water. It is important that your filter has been certified to reduce lead. Also, don’t forget about asking your local water experts to help you install and maintain a filter system.

Is there a Lead Water Filter Pitcher available?

Water filter pitchers are available, but they’re not always reliable or effective for lead reduction. They are often the least thorough when it comes to contaminant removal. A system that is specifically designed to treat drinking water at the point-of-use system is your best choice. These systems are usually installed under your sink.

Check For Lead In Your Water

Lead doesn’t need to be a problem, despite its bad reputation and ability to hide from plain sight. Make water testing a routine habit to keep you informed about your water supply’s quality and content, and to receive recommendations for solutions if any problems do occur.

This post was written by a specialist at Onegreenfilter.com. One Green Filter is Tampa Bay’s top Water Softener, Purification & Filtration Expert. Our customers chose One Green FIlter because of our consistently high level of service and superior products we use to deliver pure, delicious water to their homes, businesses, and schools across the Tampa Bay area. To schedule a free appointment to test the quality of your water at your convenience contact us today.