It’s a well-known fact that lead poisoning is very harmful. The ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan is a sad reminder of the extent to which this issue can affect a community. According to the EPA the maximum contaminant level goal (MLCG) for lead in water is zero. Even at low levels lead contamination can lead to a variety of health problems especially for children and pregnant women.
Contamination occurs when pipes containing lead corrode and introduce sediments containing lead into the water system. By this time nearly all cities have updated their water systems to pipes that are lead free. However, homes built before 1986 may still have pipes or fixtures that contain lead.
Finding out if your home’s water contains lead is a simple, but crucial process. First, you can check the Consumer Confidence Report, an annual study that your municipal water provider is required to share with the public. This report will highlight any contaminants found in the city’s water supply. Second, you can have your home’s water tested for lead to ensure no contaminants are entering your drinking water on its journey from the city’s main line to your faucet. Speaking of faucets, these fixtures can also be a source of lead. In 2014, Congress passed a law requiring all faucets contain less than .25 percent lead. Faucets and fixtures made before that year could contain higher levels of lead, especially Copper faucets, which could contain up to eight percent.
Drain Services has extensive experience helping homeowners determine if their drinking water contains lead. In our next article we’ll detail the process we use to update your home’s plumbing to ensure your water is lead free.