Older fixtures, pipes and solder joints may contain lead and contaminate your home water supply.You've probably heard concerns about lead in your home water. Home water filters always mention that they remove lead from water. You may have even heard that you shouldn't drink water taken from the hot water tap. We thought it would be a good idea to clarify what the risks are, where they come from, and most importantly, if you are at risk of lead in your home water supply.
Why is lead an issue? Lead is absorbed by the human body and accumulates over time. It can cause neurological impairment, particularly in children and can cause high blood pressure or kidney problems in adults.
If your home is connected to city water, rest assured that the water coming to your home has safe and acceptable levels of lead. Lead is rarely found in the source water for water systems, and Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and other local city water is no exception. The water treatment plants in these cities also constantly test their water for impurities and chemicals, including lead.
Lead is most often introduced into your home's water through corrosion of plumbing materials in your home, such as the solder used to connect pipes, old fixtures and faucets. Newer homes should not have any issues with lead, since federal regulations now prohibit the use of lead-based materials in plumbing systems. However, if your home was built before 1986, there is a possibility your plumbing system contains lead-based materials.
The only way to know for sure if your home water contains lead is to have your water tested. If you are concerned your home water may contain lead, or just want piece of mind, we will be happy to refer you to a certified lab that can test your water. According to the City of Olympia, these tests typically run between $20-40 -- a small price to pay if you are worried about drinking water safety.