Lead in Drinking Water

Lead in Drinking Water

Contact AAA Pump and Drilling today for water testing and water purification options regarding lead in your drinking water.

What is Lead?

Lead is a naturally occurring metal that is found in the environment and in man made products.  Lead is a poison to both animals and people, and has a history of being used in residential, commercial and industrial plumbing applications and well systems. Up until 1978 lead was still legally a component in Paint in the United States! The use of Lead has a very long history in western civilization. In ancient times, the Romans fashioned pipes from rolled lead sheets. In fact; the word Plumber comes directly from the Latin for lead which is Plumbum. Lead is a component in many types of solder which was used to join copper pipes. In many cities in the US there is lead in the water lines and in many older homes there are lead pipes in the plumbing. These uses of lead enable it to leach into your drinking water and cause you and especially any children to suffer lead poisoning. There no amount of lead in water that is safe. Any amount, even in the single parts per billion is poisonous and causes brain damage. In early colonial America, Pewter, which was then a mixture, of lead and tin, was commonly used for plates. Even serving food, especially acidic food, on the plates caused what was then called "pewter sickness" which we now know to be lead poisoning!

How does lead affect the health of the Consumer?

The effects of lead are reportedly the same* whether ingested or inhaled.  Lead can negatively affect practically every major organ and system of the human body, including the heart, blood vessels, nervous system and reproductive organs.

*(Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry)

Why is there lead in my water?

The presence of lead that is naturally occurring in lakes, rivers, water wells and shallow wells is very small.  Most often it is undetectable.  A larger percentage of lead in drinking water comes from older homes with galvanized steel piping, some solder used for copper pipes as well as homes built on older infrastructures were the existing city water lines predate current federal code requirements.  In additional to these, older well system components such as some pumps with brass impellers and steel drop pipe can introduce lead into drinking water.

The chemistry of your water can affect levels of lead leaching into your home as well.  Soft water or acidic water may allow for higher levels of lead to leach into your drinking water.

How to go about removing lead from drinking water.

The first step if you suspect that you have lead in your drinking water is to contact us at AAA Pump and Drilling.  We can help facilitate water testing and determine if and how much lead there is in your drinking water.  If you do have lead in your drinking water we recommend taking a few steps to determine the best course of action:

  • Start by scheduling a service call with AAA Pump and Drilling.  After confirming the presence of lead by having your water tested we will look over your system to determine if there are likely components installed that may be leaching lead into your drinking water.
  • After a review of your system we will consider what options for the reduction/removal of lead are best for both your specific system and your budget.

Some systems require that the removal of old components be completed and replaced with newer components that meet federal regulations for lead content.  Though with older systems that have many pre-existing components with lead the replacement of all of them is not always a viable option due to cost.  In these cases the best option can be to go with water purification systems. These systems, which can be installed for the whole house, are known as point of entry (POE) systems.  Also, specific locations such as kitchen or bathroom sinks can have purification equipment installed as well.  These are known as point of use (POU) systems.  They typically have a lower upfront cost but do require more over all maintenance.

Whether you are on a well or have city water, we recommend annual testing for lead.  Even with water purification equipment installed, annual testing is still important to ensure that your water systems are working properly and delivering safe drinking water.

Serving Snohomish & King County Since 1960