When to Test for Lead in Water

Lead is a toxic metal that can find its way into our drinking water, posing serious health risks, particularly to children and pregnant women. Testing your water for lead is crucial to ensure the safety of your household’s drinking water. In this article, we will delve into the significance of testing water for lead, understand the sources of lead contamination, and explore the reasons why it is essential to remove lead from water.

Sources of lead contamination

Lead can enter the water supply from a variety of sources, such as:

  1. Lead pipes and plumbing: Homes built before the 1980s may have plumbing systems made of lead or lead solder, which can leach lead into the water.
  2. Service lines: Some older homes have service lines connecting them to the municipal water system that are made of lead.
  3. Brass or chrome-plated faucets and fixtures: These can contain lead, which can dissolve into the water over time.
  4. Water storage tanks: In certain cases, lead may be present in the lining of water storage tanks, leading to contamination.

We at Woder encourage you to read EPA’s Home Drinking Water Testing Fact Sheet

Health risks associated with lead exposure

Exposure to lead can have severe health consequences, especially for children and pregnant women. Even low levels of lead in drinking water can lead to:

  • Cognitive and developmental issues: Children exposed to lead may experience learning disabilities, decreased IQ, and behavioral problems.
  • Nervous system damage: Lead can harm the nervous system, leading to issues such as hearing loss, decreased muscle coordination, and nerve damage.
  • Organ damage: Prolonged exposure to lead can damage the kidneys, liver, and other vital organs.

Legal limits for lead in drinking water

To protect public health, regulatory bodies have set legal limits for lead in drinking water. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established an action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb). If lead concentrations exceed this level, remedial actions must be taken to mitigate the risks.

DIY lead testing kits

DIY lead testing kits are widely available and provide a convenient way to determine the presence of lead in your water. These kits typically include test strips or vials that change color when exposed to lead. We recommend on WaterSafe water testing kit.