(NC) As clean water travels through pipes towards your tap, it can pick up contaminants. One of these could be lead. Its important to reduce exposure to lead as much as possible, because even low concentrations can negatively impact your health.
If you suspect lead is present in your drinking water, keep yourself and your family safe by following these steps:
- Flush out your pipes
Run the tap until its cold before drinking or cooking with it, particularly if the water has been sitting in your pipes for several hours. Use only cold tap water for drinking or cooking, since heat increases the leaching of lead and other metals from your plumbing into the water.
- Inspect and clean your taps
Every month, inspect and clean the aerators or screens at the tap. If you find debris, clean it out. This will remove any particles that may contain lead.
- Replace brass fittings
Brass faucets and valves can contain some lead. Replace them with fittings certified to low lead content standards.
- Consider a household water filter at the tap
If you know there is lead in your tap water, you can use a filter. The filter must be installed and maintained properly, or it could become ineffective. Make sure that any device you purchase is certified to the NSF International standard for removal of lead. Test your water for lead before installation and during use of the filter to confirm it is working properly.
This option is recommended as a temporary or interim step until a solution that addresses the source of lead can be completed (such as replacing a lead service line).
Find more information on keeping a healthy home at canada.ca/healthy-home