How to eliminate lead from your drinking water

The presence of lead in the water we drink, cook with, or bathe in is known to pose danger to human health. In older municipal water systems, lead pipes were the standard – as was the case in Flint, Michigan. Many areas have had lead pipes replaced, but often only when these pipes are found. The Safe Water Drinking Act was enacted in 1986. Until that time, lead solder was the standard, and many homes, even those with copper pipes, may have been installed with lead solder (also called “flux.”) At Ben Franklin Plumbing, we have answered some of the common questions about eliminating lead from your drinking water.

Does Boiling Water Remove Lead?

Unfortunately, boiling water not only does not remove lead, but the evaporation process increases the concentration of lead. It is important that any baby formula or water that you plan to use for cooking or drinking comes from the cold water tap, not the hot water tap. The heated water in pipes releases more of the metal into the water. If your water has been sitting in the pipes for hours before being used, run the cold water for a minute or two to flush out the stagnant water prior to using the water for drinking or cooking.

What Water Filter For Lead Removal Will Be Most Effective?

Various water filtration systems can remove the lead from your drinking water, and each one performs differently. Jug water filters are not particularly effective for removing lead in any quantity, as the water passes through a loose filter, and some water gets through without being filtered. The types of in-home water filtration systems that work to remove lead include carbon filters and reverse osmosis filters.

How To Get Lead Out Of Water

If you suspect the water supply in your home is lead contaminated, replacing old pipes and fixtures with a lead-free system is often the first step. This will not address the presence of lead in the water your municipality produces. Municipal water systems are required to test the water frequently, and report on the various contaminants, but this does not mean all lead has been removed; it means that the municipality reports that the lead in the water is at “safe levels.” Another perspective that many of us have is that NO amount of lead is safe. Water filters that remove lead can provide you with peace of mind.

Whole House Water Filtration Guide

If you have concerns about lead in your water, you are not alone. In fact, it has been found that there are over 3,000 communities in the USA that have even higher numbers of lead poisoning cases than Flint, Michigan. A whole house water filtration system can be installed in your home to filter out lead, as well as a range of other contaminants that could endanger your family. These are the types of water filters specifically manufactured to reduce the amount of lead in your home’s water supply:

  • Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System: These systems work to remove a range of contaminants, and remove arsenic, asbestos, and heavy metals. Some systems have an added carbon feature to purify the water even further.
  • Solid Block Carbon Filter System: These systems are more effective for removing herbicides, pesticides and VOCs, chemicals, bacteria, fluoride, heavy metals and other contaminants.
Reverse Osmosis System
An example of a Reverse Osmosis System
Solid Block Carbon Filter System
An example of a Solid Block Carbon Filter System

Talk to an Expert About Lead Removal

As lead is known to damage every body system, and to be particularly dangerous for children under six, pregnant mothers, and those with compromised immune systems, it is vital that the system you choose is effective in removing lead and other contaminants from your water. Each system varies in the amount of water it can handle, how much water is wasted in the process, and the percentage of the metal that can be removed. It is important that you understand the specifications of each system before you make a choice, and our team at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Bay Area is here to guide you to the system that will be the most effective for you.