Is there lead in my tap water?

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The water contamination crisis in Flint, Mich., has fanned worries about how much lead is coming out of taps in homes across the USA. Below is an article to give you more information on lead in water.

How does lead get into tap water?
Over the last twenty years, major steps have been taken to reduce lead exposure in tap water. These measures are the Safe Drinking Water Act and the U.S. EPA’s lead and copper rule. Even with both these rules, lead can still be discovered in some inside water pipes, metal water taps and pipes connecting a home to the street. Lead found in tap water comes from the corrosion of older pipes or from the solder connecting them. When water settles in leaded pipes for a few hours, lead can filtrate in the water supply.

How do I know if my tap water is contaminated with lead?
You cannot see, taste or smell lead in your water. The only way to know if you have lead in your tap water is to have it tested. You can test it yourself with a testing kit or better yet send it to a testing company in your area. For homes served by the public water system, data is usually available online. Call your water provider to find more information.

Does a high lead level in your tap water cause health effects?
Yes. High levels of lead in tap water can cause health effects if the water penetrates into your bloodstream and causes an elevated blood level of lead.

Exposure to lead-contaminated water would not elevate blood levels in most adults. High levels of lead depend on how much water you drink. Infants have a higher risk because of their size.

What can I do to reduce or eliminate lead in my tap water?
If your tap water contains lead at levels exceeding the EPA’s action level at 15(ppb). You should take action to reduce your risks.

First, ask a water testing authority these questions:
1.Does my water have lead in it above the EPA’s standard?
If the answer is yes, ask the next question?

2.Does the service pipe at the street have lead in it?

If the service pipe in the street does not have lead in it the lead in your tap water might be coming from your pipes or elsewhere in the home.