What is Lead, where is it coming from and how can I remove it?

What is Lead, where is it coming from and how can I remove it?

Boiling water will not remove lead. Most over the counter products such as water pitchers or kitchen faucet attachments may reduce lead but will not completely remove it!

Lead is a naturally occurring blueish grey metal that is found in small amounts in the earths outer layer. Much of the lead that we find in our drinking water comes from human activities such as burning of fossil fuels, mining and manufacturing. It also can be found in lead based paints, ammunition, batteries, metal products such as solder and pipes. In city water though lead is usually introduced into the water from the delivery system.

Lead pipes are the main contributor to high levels of lead found in city supplied tap water. An Associated Press analysis of EPA data found that nearly 1400 water systems serving nearly 3.6 million Americans exceeded the federal lead standard at least once between January 1, 2013 and September 30, 2015. 278 of the affected systems include places owned and operated by schools and daycare centers in 41 states.

Even low levels of lead have been shown to affect IQ, the ability to pay attention and academic achievement. Children ages, 6 and under, and pregnant women whose bones will pass along stored lead to infants are considered the most vulnerable to lead. Lead has also shown to cause damage to brains, kidneys and production of red blood cells that supply oxygen.

Other sources in your water delivery system include:

  • lead solder and flux used to join together copper pipes
  • plumbing fixtures made before 1980
  • coolers
  • valves

Right now most cities are just injecting phosphate into the water which coats the lead piping and helps prevent corrosion. This unfortunately is not a permanent solution and it is not 100 percent effective in solving this problem.

Lead is not just found in city water but also can be found in well water. Private wells more than 20 years old may contain lead in the “packer” element that was used to seal the well above the screen. Corrosion of pipes can cause lead to be found in your drinking water since most solder used 20 years or older contained lead in it.

Boiling water will not remove lead. Most over the counter products such as water pitchers or kitchen faucet attachments may reduce lead but will not completely remove it!

Water Treatment Options for Lead Removal:

  • Reverse Osmosis
  • Carbon Filters that are designed for lead removal
  • Ion Exchange
  • Activated Alumina
  • Distillation