If you have an older home, it's possible that there could be lead in your water supply. Lead in water has been a high profile issue since the events of Flint, which left an entire town with a corroded, lead-filled water supply. Municipal pipes may still be made out of lead and some potential dangers are within your home as well.
When it comes to their water supply, homeowners need to be worried about three major vectors: lead pipes, lead faucets and lead welding.
Lead Pipes Inside and Outside of Your Home
As noted, the Flint crisis brought a lot of attention to lead as a potential issue. On a city-wide basis, most pipes are protected by minerals that are calcified on the interior of the pipe. If these minerals are degraded or slough off, the pipes will start to corrode. Once corrosion begins, the material begins to flake into the water supply. The customer can't always know this has happened until their water is noticeably impacted.
If you've noticed a significant change in your home's water supply, you may want to get your water tested, especially if you aren't certain of the composition of your home's structure.
Your home is unlikely to still have lead pipes. However, older homes may not have upgraded plumbing systems. Many homes that are over a few decades old may need new pipes installed.
Lead Bonding and Welds
Though there may not be any lead pipes within your home, another danger could be lurking: your pipes could be welded with iron. Though iron in homes became defunct a while ago, welds sometimes contained iron until around 1986.
If your home was built before the 1990's, iron could be introduced into your pipes through these welds. Unfortunately, you can only know if your pipes have lead welds by testing your water supply or by inspecting your pipes directly. Even if you're aware that the welds consist of iron, the iron may not be infiltrating your water. However, you still will want to replace the pipes if you any iron or lead in your pipes.
Lead Faucets and Valves
Though homes now are unlikely to still have lead pipes, homes can have lead faucets and valves. Lead faucets and valves may be made of brass, which can be made of up to 8 percent lead. If your fixtures appear to be made of brass, you may have cause to be concerned.
As of 2014, increased regulations came into play regarding the content of lead in even brass fixtures. However, faucets and valves don't have regulations when they are used in areas where the water isn't expected to be consumed.
If exterior valves or fitting do contain iron, these elements could potentially introduce iron to the exterior of your property. Iron could get into the soil, which could in turn be tracked into the home. Iron in the home could become dangerous to small children or pets.
Lead in Your Home
What happens if you do find out that there's lead in your water? Fast and professional remediation services are critical. Not only does lead become more dangerous the more it is consumed, but improperly taking care of the lead could lead to even worse contamination.
Lead is a serious problem. Not only is lead toxicity dangerous to adults, but it is dangerous to children and the elderly at far faster rates. To be certain that your water is safe, you may need a water quality test. Contact Hygenix Inc. to schedule a water test and learn your next steps to take care of your home's water supply.