The Water Quality Association reminds consumers that they can learn more about the threat of lead in their drinking water through free materials available on the association’s website. Studies indicate that nearly all the lead in drinking water comes not from the primary water source or the municipal treatment plant but as a result of corrosion of lead-containing materials carrying the water from the plant. Lead can enter the home drinking water by leaching from lead service connections, from lead solder used in copper piping, and from brass fixtures.
For example, in Chicago, where the city required the use of lead water service lines until 1986, lead has been found in water from nearly 70 percent of the 2,797 homes testing their tap water with free testing kits provided by the city in the last two years, according to an April 12 article by The Chicago Tribune. In three of every 10 homes sampled, lead concentrations were above five parts per billion, the maximum allowed in bottled water, the Tribune reported.
But US EPA, which monitors lead in the municipal water supply, considers no amount of lead in drinking water to be safe. Although Congress prohibited the use of lead water service lines in 1986, an estimated six million are still in use across the country. For those reasons, WQA suggests having a home or business’s tap water tested at all points of use, such as faucets, hoses or water fountains. WQA also considers POU/POE products to be the preferred method for lead removal. Devices and systems currently on the market, however, may differ widely in their effectiveness in treating specific contaminants and performance may vary from application to application.
Selection of a particular device or system for health contaminant reduction should be made only after careful investigation of its performance capabilities based on results from competent equipment validation testing for the specific contaminant to be reduced. Consumers can access WQA’s Frequently Asked Questions about lead here. One can search for products found effective at reducing lead in drinking water supplies here.
WQA offers training and certification for professionals who can conduct testing and recommend appropriate remedies for specific contamination issues. WQA tests products for effectiveness, offering Gold Seal certification to those who meet independently established standards. To find a local water treatment professional or certified professional who can help choose the most effective products, visit the website.