The current water crisis in Flint, Michigan has raised awareness of potential hazards from lead in drinking water throughout the country. A regional NPR radio show reached out to Fresh Water Systems about this issue, and they broadcast a highly informative interview with our own John Woodard.
John is certified by the Water Quality Association as a Master Water Specialist and has 25 years of experience in the water industry. He explains why lead can be and often is present even in areas where the drinking water is generally considered to be safe.
In this short radio interview, John was able to provide some practical answers about lead in the water supply and ways to reduce the risks from it at your home or business.
Listen to the full interview, as heard on regional NPR stations
What is Lead and How Does it Get in My Water?
Lead is a chemical element that historically has been used in construction, plumbing, and piping because of its soft and malleable texture. The majority of lead contamination comes from the pipes, plumbing, and fixtures that deliver your drinking water, especially those built before 1986 when lead in construction was banned. As water travels through these service lines, it can absorb lead and contaminants from these old pipes.
Why Is It Dangerous?
Lead ingestion poses a serious health risk to adults and especially children. Consuming lead causes irreversible neurological and development damage, and can lead to lead poisoning. This is a chronic illness that can lead to learning, behavioral, and developmental issues. It can also cause severe damage to the immune system, bones, and teeth.
How Do I Remove Lead from My Drinking Water?
Test Your Water - Before you buy a water filter, it is best to test your water supply to see what is in it. The utility company will provide a contamination report on your water supply, but because the water can absorb contaminates after it leaves the water treatment plant, you should test the water coming out of your faucet.
Water Filtration and Filter Systems For Lead
Before choosing a water system it is highly recommended to use a water lead test kit. After determining the levels of lead in your drinking water from a test, one of the best options would be a point-of-use water filtration system. These systems are installed only at the sink(s) that you get your drinking water from. You can also use whole-house filtration systems that will filter the water in your entire home, not just at the faucets that you drink from.
Does Your States Water Supply Contain High Levels Of Lead In The Water?
In a recent 2016 report conducted using data from the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS) database, over 6 million people and 2,000 water systems have excessive lead levels in the drinking water over a 4 year span.
The Lead Rule was developed and published in 1991 by the EPA to protect public drinking water supplies. The lead water rule set the maximum limit of 15 ppb (parts per billion) of lead in water measured at the tap. Public water systems are required by law to monitor water for lead and if 10% of their customers exceed this limit, the system must…
Be required to inform the public with information on how to protect their health and may have to replace lead service lines under their control.