The potential for lead in your drinking water
In recent years, especially since the water crisis in Flint, Mich., many of us have become a lot more concerned about the presence of lead in our drinking water. In the Chicagoland area, 80% of households receive their water through service lines that contain lead-based plumbing components.
The dangers of lead poisoning
Lead poisoning can have wide-ranging, profound, and lasting effects on the health of you and your family. While lead is toxic for anyone, it is especially dangerous for children, with many never able to recoverable from irreversible outcomes.
Neurological damage can result in everything from irritability and fatigue to hearing loss and seizures. Lead affects your gastrointestinal system with symptoms like extreme nausea and constipation. The effect lead has on reproductive health can be grave, resulting in miscarriages, birth defects, and miscarriages.
How lead contaminates your tap water
Lead is a naturally occurring element, but it isn’t typically found in natural bodies of source water. Instead, lead leaches into water from other sources between the treatment plant and your faucet. For instance, the water main on your street might be lead. Or, If your home is old enough, your copper pipes could have lead solder. Brass fixtures in your home also contain trace amounts of lead which could contaminate your water as they age and degrade.
How you can make sure your drinking water is free of lead contamination
There are few precautions you can take yourself is you suspect there may be lead in your water.
- Let your taps run for a while before drinking or showering to flush any standing water through the pipes that may have been sitting and absorbing lead.
- Only use cold tap water for drinking and cooking, never warm or hot water
- Invest in a water filter that has been approved by the NSF for lead removal. Models the attach under your sink filter more lead, and are recommended over faucet-attached models.
Get help from the professionals.
An authorized professional can precisely determine your risk from lead, and recommend the best remediation solutions for you.
Far and away, the most effective solution to lead in your water is to invest in a whole-house reverse-osmosis filtration system. In addition to lead, these systems can filter all the other contaminants found in both well water and Lake Michigan water, including chromium-6, chlorine. mercury, fluoride, and pharmaceuticals.