Lead can enter your water supply when plumbing that was manufactured containing lead corrodes. This can occur especially if you have high acidity or a small amount of minerals in your water supply. Lead pipes are commonly found in homes and in older cities built before 1989.
If your home does not contain any lead pipes, but rather chrome or brass, and you still have issues with low amounts lead, your plumbing most likely has lead solder.
Threats of Lead in Your Water Supply
According to The Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, the EPA established a regulation level on the maximum amount of pollutants in drinking water. Included in the Act are required actions called “public Notification Rules” which calls for municipal water systems to alert customers when the maximum allowable lead concentration has been reached. Under the act, if more than 10% of “tap water samples” surpass more than 15ppb (parts per billion, the public must be informed about their risk of exposure to lead.
Because Lead is a toxic metal, the EPA has set the maximum contaminant goal for lead at zero. Any small amount of lead ingested may bioaccumulate in your body over an extended period which may cause serious health consequences not only to adults but especially to children, and pregnant woman and their unborn child.
Health Risks to children
Because they are still physically and behaviorally developing children, infants, and unborn children are still physically and behaviorally developing, they may risk suffering from the following effects:
- Slowed growth
- Lower IQ and hyperactivity
- Behavioral and Learning Problems
- Hearing Problems
Health Risks to Pregnant Women
Lead believe it or not can accumulate in your bones, where it can then be kept for an unspecified period. Upon becoming pregnant, lead can then be released from bones and be transferred to create the bones of the child.
- Premature Birth
- Decreased growth of unborn child
Health Risks to Adults
Adults may also be affected by lead and may risk suffering from the following effects:
- Reduced kidney function
- Reproductive issues (in both women and me)
- Cardiovascular effects (frequency of hypertension and increased blood pressure)
Addressing Lead in your Water – How to know if lead is present in your home:
If you find that lead is present in your water, by applying home testing kits which can be purchased at Home Depot, Lowes, or online at amazon. You should also attempt to have your water professionally tested before you replace plumbing or installing additional water treatment systems or household appliances.
To eradicate any issues with lead in your water, attempt to have your older metal pipes replaced with newer PVC, pex, or even copper. Replacing your household plumbing might not solve your lead issues. In some instances, households on municipal water may have lead pipes running from the meter to your home – if you are concerned that this may be the case, your municipal water company may provide a water test to help determine if the service line may contain Lead.
If any of the in-home or professional grade tests come back positive for lead, you should limit water usage in your home until you can resolve the issue. Furthermore, lead particles can be present in both hot and cold water – NEVER boil or heat up the water prior to usage, by boiling water, you may risk further concentrating the amount of dissolved minerals, chemicals, and or metals.
One thing that you can do to limit the amount of lead in your water no and in the future is to install a water softener. The correct water softener, based on the chemistry of your water, can reduce the amount of lead and other impurities, leaving you and your family with safe drinking water. Your water will tell us what to do – to find the right water treatment system to fit your needs, contact us here.