Sources of drinking water in our area - whether groundwater or surface water (larger municipal systems) - do not contain high levels of naturally occurring lead. However, lead can leach into water supplies through the corrosion of older plumbing fixtures or from the solder that connects pipes. When water sits in leaded pipes for several hours, lead can leach into the water supply.
Measures have been taken to greatly reduce the exposures of lead in tap water over the years. These measures include actions taken under the requirements of the 1986 and 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Lead and Copper Rule.
Lead is a highly toxic metal that produces a range of adverse health effects, particularly in young children. Lead can cause damage to the brain and kidneys, and interfere with the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to all parts of your body. Scientists have linked effects of lead on the brain with lowered IQ in children. No levels of lead are safe.
Run the faucet before drinking. Run the kitchen tap (or any other tap you take drinking or cooking water from) until the water runs cold - usually 30 to 60 seconds - before using the water for drinking or cooking. This flushes out stagnant water in your home plumbing and replaces it with fresh water from the water main in your street.
Use COLD water for drinking, eating or cooking. Hot water is likely to contain higher levels of lead. Run cold water until it becomes as cold as it can get before using. Do NOT use water from the hot tap to make baby formula.
Do not boil water to remove lead. Boiling water will not reduce lead. Lead concentrations may be higher in water boiled since some water is removed as steam.
Use water filters or treatment devices. Devices that are not designed to remove lead will not work, so make sure that the package states it will remove lead. Also, make sure you are purchasing and using a product that is certified to remove lead.
Test your water for lead. Contact your local entity that provides water for your home – they may conduct testing of your water. For those interested in conducting private testing for the home’s water, please review the list of EPA certified laboratories.