In the pursuit of a healthy home environment, ensuring the purity of your drinking water is paramount. One common yet hazardous contaminant that often lurks in residential water systems is lead. Today, we’ll explain how lead exposure can occur through your drinking water supply and explore the best strategies to remove lead from water at home.
Types of Lead
There are two types of lead. The first is organic lead, which can be absorbed through the skin via fumes, etc. Leaded gas contains organic lead. Not only could the fumes be absorbed, they could also settle in dirt, etc., where the lead could be ingested by children. Leaded gas is banned in the United States, but not entirely throughout the world.
Then there is inorganic lead which cannot be absorbed but can be ingested. A prime example of that is lead-based paint. Lead-based paint has a certain sweetness to it, which is one reason children will eat it. Lead-based paint is extremely lethal, which is why it is rarely used in homes anymore.
The reason for the concern is that lead is very toxic. Lead exposure can cause a myriad of physical and mental problems, including brain damage, lessening of development among children, and other high level health concerns…even in small doses. Lead poisoning can be fatal.
Lead Contaminated Water
The water we drink is treated and tested for lead daily at water filtration plants to ensure it is at a safe level. The concern is…what happens from the time the water leaves the filtration plant to the time it comes out of our plumbing fixtures, and there are three potential issues.
The first potential for lead contaminated water is if you have lead service lines between the city water main and your house. Lead can leach into the cold water running through lead pipes. One way water is treated is to include anti-corrosive agents to limit the potential of lead leaching into the water once it leaves the plant.
The second way lead can leach into the water is through the lead solder that connects the copper pipes inside the house. Lead can leach from lead-based solder into your drinking water, causing lead contamination. Years ago, the solder contained anywhere from 50% to 95% lead. The solder and other plumbing materials used by plumbers since 1986 has been lead free due to the Safe Drinking Water Act
The third possible reason for lead contamination is from brass valves and other plumbing fixtures in the home. The brass alloy used in the manufacture of these products has always contained a small amount of lead. Changes in the law made the use of lead in brass illegal a few years ago.
Ways to Remove Lead from Water in Your Home
So what can you do to reduce the risk of lead contamination and lead exposure in your home? Here are the common plumbing solutions used to remove lead from the water supply.
Repiping involves replacing old lead pipes with modern, safer alternatives such as copper or PEX. The benefits of repiping extend beyond lead removal, addressing issues like corrosion, leaks, and improved water pressure.
Upgrading your home’s plumbing fixtures and valves from lead-based materials to safer alternatives is another proactive and impactful step toward ensuring the purity of your water supply. By replacing these components with modern, lead-free alternatives, you not only eliminate the source of potential lead in drinking water but also contribute to the overall improvement of your plumbing system’s efficiency and longevity.
Water Filtration Systems
Investing in a quality water filtration system can significantly enhance your water quality. Filtration systems equipped with advanced technologies, like activated carbon filters and reverse osmosis, effectively capture and remove lead particles, providing an additional layer of protection for your household.
Improve the Safety of Your Drinking Water Today
Safeguarding your home from lead contamination is not just a responsibility; it’s a commitment to the well-being of your family. Take the first step toward a healthier home environment and contact Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric today for a personalized consultation and explore the best ways to remove lead from your water. Your family’s safety is our priority, and we are here to ensure that your water remains pure and free from harmful contaminants.