Lead in Drinking Water

Warning! Lead to Be Shown Leaching from Brass Taps

The presence of lead in tap water is often due to old plumbing used to bring water to your house and even more often due to the plumbing in your house. When water sits in the pipes for 6 hours or more Lead can seep from the pipes into the water. How can you know if there is lead in your tap water? And what can you do about it if you find it?

A Bit about Lead

Lead is soft, gray metal that is used in a variety of ways. It was used extensively in plumbing both for making lead pipes and for soldering before it was phased out then banned. Before 1960, paint used inside houses commonly contained lead until it was discovered that paint chips in water or paint dust inhaled were both very toxic.

How Does Lead Get into Our Drinking Water?

Houses built in the 50’s and 60’s often used lead pipes in home plumbing. The service lines bringing water to individual homes were often made of lead. This resulted in high levels of lead in drinking water. Lead solder was used to seal the joints of copper pipes and leas leaked into drinking water from this solder. (more…)