Up to 10 million homes across the United States bring drinking water into them through lead pipes.
If you suspect your home is among them, there are some things you can do to remove lead from water. This will help protect your family from the dangers of lead poisoning.
Keep reading to learn about three of the most effective ways to remove lead from drinking water so you can drink from the tap without fear.
Why Remove Lead from Your Drinking Water
Before we go any further, let’s look at some of the reasons as to why you want to ensure there isn’t a trace of lead in your drinking water. Both adults and children are at risk of lead poisoning, and both are affected in different ways.
Effects of Lead Poisoning in Children
Children are at a greater risk of being affected by lead in the water because of the way it impacts development. Here are a few of the ways lead can affect a child:
- Brain damage
- Physical developmental delays
- Lower IQ’s
- Attention disorders
- Behavioral problems
Many of these conditions are permanent which leaves lasting effects on the children that have been drinking lead-contaminated water.
If you have children or are considering having them soon, you’ll want to ensure the drinking water in your home is safe for them. Not only the water you drink but the water you shower in can be affected as well.
Effects of Lead Poisoning in Adults
Adults are by no means immune to lead in the water. In fact, there are three serious conditions that have been linked to lead exposure. These are:
- Cardiovascular deaths
- High blood pressure
- Kidney problems
If you are already at risk for developing any of these conditions, it’s even more critical to make sure your water is free from lead and other contaminants.
How to Know if Your Home is at Risk
If you’re not sure how worried about lead poisoning you should be, the best way to know if you’re at risk is to look at when your home was built.
All homes built before 1986 or that have not had pipes replaced since then are at risk for having lead in the water. Although most homes built after the 1950s don’t have lead pipes, lead soldering was still common until 1986.
Whether or not your home is at risk for lead contamination, installing a filtration system may still be a good idea. There are other heavy metals and chemical contaminants found in water supplies that filters can remove to improve your drinking water. To be sure, you can always have your water tested, but watch out for scams.
How to Remove Lead from Water
Let’s jump into the three best ways you can remove lead from your drinking water.
As you’ll see, all three methods work to eliminate a number of other impurities from your water supply to ensure you’re not drinking anything but water when you fill a glass.
1. Reverse Osmosis
Osmosis is the act of a solution moving from a lower to a higher concentration. This is the way most things naturally act. Reverse osmosis requires adding pressure to do the opposite so that a solution with a higher concentration moves to a lower one.
With tap water, it means forcing it through a series of filters to remove the contaminants until there’s nothing left in the liquid but water molecules. Reverse osmosis can remove up to 98% of lead in water, making it extremely effective.
Having one of these systems installed in your home will prevent lead from getting into your drinking water and make it overall safer for your family. It’s also a low-maintenance system so you can set it up and forget about it.
One of the oldest methods used to purify water, distillation is still one of the most effective against inorganic contaminants like lead. It will also remove any other materials that have a higher boiling point than water.
Water distillation works by bringing water up to its boiling point. Only the water molecules evaporate where they come into contact with a cooling element which turns them back into a liquid form.
Once this water is collected, it is safe to drink and is pure water. Contaminants are left behind.
The biggest downside to using this method is that it requires time and you have to set up a separate piece of equipment that will perform the distillation. You then have to keep this filled and remove distilled water to store for drinking.
3. NSF 53 Certified Filters
The final method you can use to remove lead from water is to invest in lead removing refrigerator filters which will be certified NSF 53. These filters use activated charcoal to adsorb molecules that don’t belong in your water supply.
Adsorption is the act of physically attaching to molecules. In a filter, it means these contaminants become trapped in the filter and are unable to pass through.
Activated charcoal filters only allow molecules up to 1 micron in size to pass through them. A human hair is about 100 microns in diameter, which gives you an idea of just how small something has to be to make it past one of these.
Carbon filters are relatively inexpensive and can typically be installed in any under sink water filter system or in your refrigerator. Besides that, they’re easy to replace and will remove everything from cysts to mercury and asbestos depending on the certification type.
Ready to Buy a Filter?
Now you know three ways you can remove lead from water. As you can see, it’s as simple as installing the right type of filter in your home that will ensure nothing dangerous is getting into your water supply. If you’re ready to buy a filter, check out our selection of water filters. We only offer high-quality filters at low prices so you can protect yourself and your family while saving money.