Lead is considered a highly dangerous substance if it gets into your system. But this wasn’t always the case, as evidenced by the use of lead in gasoline not that long ago. If lead is so dangerous, one can only imagine the dismay of having to deal with lead-contaminated water.
Even after lead has been discovered to be dangerous and removed from car fuels and toy paints, it can still be present in many other places and pose the same risk. With drinking water, this fear of lead contamination is something that now has many solutions and we can explore a whole range of methods to remove lead from water at home.
Flush The Pipes
Traces of lead can make their way into tap water and if you know this to be the case, then you may need to flush the pipes. Running cold water for about 15 to 30 seconds should be enough to clean away traces of lead. The reason why cold water should be used to flush the pipes instead of warm or hot water, is because hot temperatures can melt lead. This can make the lead stick to the inside of the pipes and provide residual lead contamination for a longer period. You should also never use hot water from the boiler for cooking or drinking.
Water Filters For Lead Contamination
Of course, simply flushing the pipes is a mere short-term solution and it will most likely require a more powerful solution for long-term use. Luckily water filters are a tool that can bring a wide range of solutions to treat all manner of water issues, lead being just one. From some of the best lead filter pitchers to complex under-the-sink water filters, these devices are a solid guarantee for water safety against lead in particular.
Water filter pitchers are one variety that helps with lead contamination and does not require extensive installation while taking up little space. A pitcher is great for cleaning lead out of drinking and cooking water. But if you want to remove lead for cleaning water you will need a different and potentially more complex water filter system.
Reverse osmosis filters are one of the highest praised water filtration systems out there, and they pride themselves and being able to clear out a whole slew of water contaminants. Typically, an RO system will be ideal to use for lead contamination if it exceeds 15µg/L.
Consistent issues with lead contamination can be indicative of another problem. The source of the lead contamination can be far closer to home. Lead pipes are a high risk of contaminating your drinking water. To deal with this you could make use of filtration but it may not always be enough.
The best way to deal with lead water pipes, however, is to replace these pipes or fixtures. This will be an extensive plumbing job and it will most definitely require a professional plumber to replace and dispose of these pipes safely. Usually, houses built before 1970 will have these types of pipes, so it may be a giveaway as to whether it’s the source of the lead contamination.
Well Water Pumps
Older water pumps for wells could have been made with materials that are otherwise unsafe, such as lead or some alloy that contains lead. To know this for certain you may want to test your well water both from the pump and directly from the source. The best way to remove lead, in this case, will be to replace the pump.
Dealing with lead-contaminated water is scary, but fortunately, there are many ways of making water safe to drink. Be it using a water filtering system, replacing pipes, or ensuring the well water pump is not to blame, issues with lead seem easier to take care of.