Removing Lead from Your Home's Drinking Water

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 Min read
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April 7, 2022

The presence of lead in drinking water is a major concern. We all remember the story from Flint, Michigan a few years back when the city’s water supply was contaminated with lead among other things. In this particular case, officials ignored claims that the water in Flint was making residents sick. If you suspect that there is lead in your drinking water, don’t ignore it. Today, we’ll take a few minutes to look into the problems that the presence of lead in drinking water can lead to and how Rusco can help you to eliminate it.

Lead pipes, faucets and plumbing fixtures can all be the cause of why lead ends up in water. It’s possible that some pipes carrying drinking water from the source to the home may contain lead. In-house plumbing fixtures, welding solder, as well as pipe fittings put together before 1986 can all contain lead according to the CDC.

A number of steps taken over the last couple of decades have helped to reduce lead exposures in tap water. Even with these, homes with lead service lines that connect the home to the main water line can end up with lead present in its water. It’s also possible that homes still have brass or chrome-plated brass faucets, galvanized iron pipes or other plumbing soldered with lead, all of which could result in lead accumulating in water.

Corrosion, which is the dissolving or wearing away of metal, is the process by which lead can enter the drinking water. This chemical reaction is harsher when water has high acidity or low mineral content. Exactly how much lead enters the water has to do with a number of factors including:

  • the acidity or alkalinity of the water
  • the types and amount of minerals in the water
  • the amount of lead the water comes into contact with
  • the water temperature
  • the amount of wear in the pipes
  • how long the water stays in pipes
  • the presence of protective scales or coatings in the pipes

Unfortunately, you cannot taste, smell or see lead in drinking water, so the best way to know the risk of exposure in your home is to identify the potential sources of lead. Contacting the local water authority is always a good first step in figuring this out. Reaching out to your water provider to see if there’s a lead service line, and what actions can be taken if there is, would be a good direction to head in. A lot of public water systems will also test drinking water as well if it’s requested by residents.

Even at low exposure levels, the presence of lead in drinking water can be harmful to human health. According to the EPA, adults exposed to lead can suffer from cardiovascular effects, increased blood pressure, decreased kidney function, and reproductive problems. Children exposed to lead in drinking water may see additional effects over time, including behavior and learning problems, lower IQ and hyperactivity, slowed growth, hearing problems and anemia. It’s possible in very rare cases that ingestion of lead by children could also lead to seizures, comas or even death.

Rusco's new carbon filter cartridge

It should be incredibly clear that lead in drinking water is something to be taken seriously. Because you may not always be able to tell immediately due to the types of health effects whether or not there is lead in your water, if you even suspect the possibility of its presence, you will want to get your water tested. If it turns out that there is lead in your water, Rusco can help you to eliminate the problem.

Whether the reason for lead in your water is due to in-home fixtures or the lead service line pipe bringing water into your home, Rusco has a filter that can help to clean everything up and last for years! A Rusco spin-down comes with a number of filtration options to choose from, including our newly released activated carbon cartridge. Once installed, all you really need to do is flush any collected sediment from the filter when you notice it starting to get full. The individual parts of the filter are all designed to easily come apart, making the cleaning of the unit simple. The cost of one of these spin-down filters will vary a little bit depending on the size of the filter you need as well as the type of element you choose. It’s important to remember that even though you may be spending a bit more money upfront, the majority of the filter options available from Rusco are designed to last for multiple years without needing to be replaced.

If you’d like to learn more about a quality product that will save you money over time and help rid your home’s drinking water of lead, give Rusco a call at 1-800-345-1033. A customer service representative will help you figure out the best choice for your filtration needs.

Source Notes: All information in this article relating to how lead ends up in drinking water came from the CDC. Information regarding the health effects of lead in water came from the EPA.

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