Recent water safety issues in Flint Michigan have stolen headlines and have served as a poignant reminder that lead contamination of home water is a serious problem. While the United States has not used lead pipes as water supply lines since the 1930’s, many people that we speak with are surprised to learn that lead plumbing solder for drinking water was not banned until 1986. In addition, it wasn’t until 2010 that California and Vermont enacted legislation that required all new faucets to be “lead-free” (technically 0.25% lead was allowed vs the prior 8.0% standard). The Federal government adopted a similar standard in 2014. The recency of these consumer protections is surprising to most, including us!
The best way to know the quality of the water coming from your faucets is to do an in-home water test. While each public water system tests water at the treatment facility, only a fraction of homes have their water sampled and tested by the government at their home. Further, the government home sampling methods have been criticized as inconsistent and inaccurate. The real solution is to remove all remaining lead service lines, however that would take huge sums of money, time and political will.
To gain peace of mind, we recommend testing your own water. Drinking Well offers an outstanding home testing kit from Enviropure (click here) that offers both accuracy and the convenience of getting immediate results without a lab. There's no mixing or measuring required, and you'll get results right on the spot. It tests for Lead of course, but also chlorine, iron, pesticides and nitrates, as well as the water's pH, or acidity level. These kits are an inexpensive way to keep your family safe and to put your mind at ease.
What did your results show? We welcome you to send any questions or feedback.