When in proper use, lead provides great benefits in many ways to some industries, particularly the battery manufacturers. It is a chemical element that has been valued because of its numerous applications as a building material, but once ingested inside the body, it can be very poisonous to humans leading to serious health problems.
So lead has been flagged as a dangerous substance, especially when it contaminates water supplies at the amount of 15 ppb and higher. A terrific headline news about lead contamination in Flint, Michigan, which caused incredible health issues and even deaths, further aggravates the public concern towards this toxic substance.
This unfortunate event posed a serious warning to authorities and societies at large and prompted many people to ask whether or not does filtered water remove lead.
Luckily, yes there are water filter systems that are tested and proven to be very effective in removing lead from water. But before you hurry up and grab a filter to use at home, it would be helpful to first know what are the risks involved if lead is present in drinking water and what to do with it.
When you have children, or if you have or are a pregnant wife, then you have to be even more cautious about lead contaminating your water supply. This element is well known to be very particularly harmful for unborn babies and young children as it may cause brain damage, delays in physical development, behavioral problems and attention disorders. It could really help if you join the increasing number of people who are discovering that filtered water does remove lead.
You might be wondering how lead finds its way to water supplies. Lead finds its way into water supplies when corrosion occurs in water service pipes and fixtures, or with the solder that’s used to fuse the pipes together.
If your home was built before 1986, you might be at an even higher risk of lead contamination. Older homes are much more likely to contain lead in their plumbing system and fixtures. What’s even more shocking is that some test findings have shown that many of the cities in U.S. with hundreds and thousands of different water supplies are severely contaminated with lead.
Your next question would be how to determine if your own water supply is contaminated with lead since it’s colorless and odorless. Well, you have three options to confirm it. First, if you have a public supplier, you can get from them a free copy of water quality report, also referred to as the Consumer Confidence Report.
In case you can’t have access to such report, you can call and ask the local health department for this information. If both options don’t work, you can have your water tested by an independent service provider or you can do the testing yourself using a test kit available at local hardware store or easily found online.
If the report or test shows positive result of lead contamination, you can now find out the best way to remove the lead from your water lines and if filtered water does remove lead effectively.
Of course, you can’t solve a problem if you don’t address the main culprit that causing it. So first you need to identify the primary source of lead contamination. And most probably, it’s the lead piping of your water supply line that’s giving you this headache.
If only you could just have them removed it would totally eliminate the problem, but this can be not so simple as that. Removing a city or municipality owned lead pipe going into your home may take a long time. It can also be very expensive, costing you as much as $3,000 or more, depending on your specific situation.
Let’s say you have a successful removal of lead pipes, you might be saddened to know that there’s still a great chance that lead can enter the mains water supply and still find its way to your own tap. You don’t have total control of what may get into the municipal water supply lines. This leaves you with the last and the safest option to deal with lead: the use of water filters.
This is the most cost-effective solution to fix your lead contamination problem and will finally address your doubt of does filtered water remove lead. While water filters are not made equal, many of them are certified in getting rid of lead from your tap water by as much as 98%.
They come in different types and you’ll surely find one that perfectly suits your need. You may opt to install an under the sink filter or an encompassing water filtration to cover your entire house. It all depends on your current situation and personal preferences. To help you decide better, here are the top three water filtration systems you can consider. They are also highly recommended by the CDCP (Center for Disease Control and Prevention).
This water filtration method is considered by many users as the best way of removing lead from water. It’s a water treatment process wherein water is being pushed by the water pressure through a series of filter membranes. The filtration stages vary from at least three or more different stages until lead, along with other contaminants, are filtered out while letting only clean and safe to drink water to reach through your faucet and into your glass. RO’s are proven to be very effective in removing most water contaminants, requires no power, and is easy to maintain.
Carbon filters are also known to be effective in removing lead and other impurities from water with the use of activated carbon through a chemical adsorption process. However, some people complain that some carbon filters can quickly become exhausted. It means they can lose their lead removal capabilities sooner than expected. So you need to ensure that when you consider a carbon filter, its lead reduction ability does not quickly diminish.
While a distiller can provide you with pure water, it may not be the most optimal way to remove lead. Distillation process can take too long to finish the job and consume great amount of electricity.
So far, you’ve learned why lead in drinking water should be seriously dealt with and how to address it. When it comes to selecting among the various water filters available, always look out for NSF International or ANSI Standard certifications. For filter products such as countertop, faucet, pitcher, refrigerator and in-line filters, NSF/ANSI Standard 53 applies. Whereas for reverse osmosis systems, Standard 58 applies for lead reduction.
Finally, last words of caution: don’t think that boiling lead out of water is possible, because it’s not. Heating may even increase lead concentrations in your water. So stay safe and keep your family well-guarded against lead contamination by choosing the right water filtration system for your home. Does filtered water remove lead? We hope we have provided you with some important things to consider about this common problem faced by many.
Jack Wilson is a water treatment consultant as well as a topic researcher and post editor for all posts on bestpurifiation.com.