Lead in your home's water has the potential to cause major health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. That's why it's so important to test your water for lead. This is what you need to know about lead in your water, how to test for it, and what you can do about it.
Why Test Your Water For Lead?
There are numerous problems that can happen from drinking water that contains lead. It is known to cause learning difficulties, delays in a child's development, and damages the nervous system and the brain. The lead enters the water through the water lines but is not limited to just lead pipes. It can also get into the water from brass fittings and solder. Even a small amount of lead has the potential to cause harm, which is why you'll want to test your water periodically.
How Is Water Tested For Lead?
There are a few methods to test your water for lead. Your local health department may provide lead water test kits, which are low-cost or free to residents. There are also home kits that you can purchase at your local home improvement store, which require sending your water to a lab for it to be analyzed.
It will be best to take multiple water samples when you perform a home lead water test. One sample should be from your tap first thing in the morning after the water has settled in the pipes overnight. This is when the lead levels are more likely to be high due to lead leaching into the water from inside a lead pipe. The second sample should be from the same faucet after you have allowed the water to flush through the system. You may also want to take a third sample, which is water from a filtered water source. This will let you know if your water filtration system is actually doing anything to remove the lead in the water.
What Do You Do If Lead Is In Your Water?
If the lab results come back with confirmation that lead is in your water, you should stop drinking the water immediately. Switch to bottled water for cooking and drinking. You'll then need to determine the source of the lead and how it can be addressed. For example, is it coming from old lead pipes within your home, or a municipal water source? You may need to replace plumbing in your home or install a water filtration system that can remove the lead from the water.
For more information about lead testing, contact a local company.