Worried about lead in your drinking water?

Health Canada reduced the maximum acceptable concentration of lead in drinking water. But should you be concerned?

Many things can affect the amount of lead that seeps into drinking water. This includes the chemistry of the water, age of the plumbing system and length of time the water sits in the pipes.

The most significant source is likely to be from lead service lines. These are the water pipes that link houses to the main water supply. Some plumbing parts or fittings, such as soldered faucets or valves, may also contain lead that can seep into drinking water.

To find out if there are lead service lines in your area, you can check with your plumber, water utility provider or municipality.

Here are some things you can do if you have lead in your plumbing:

  • Always let tap water run until it is cold before using it for drinking, cooking and especially for making baby formula. This is very important after the water has been sitting in the pipes for long periods of time, like first thing in the morning.
  • Don’t use water from the hot water tap for cooking or drinking; use cold water instead.
  • If you have a lead service line, the best solution is to have it replaced, but there is a cost to the homeowner and municipality. Ask your municipality about programs or incentives for replacing lead service lines.
  • Clean out aerators or screens at the tap regularly to remove any debris that could also contain lead.
  • Replace any brass faucets or valves with fittings that are certified for use with drinking water.
  • A water filter at the tap can serve as a temporary solution, but this will require proper maintenance and testing to ensure it is working. Make sure the device is certified to the NSF international standard for removal of lead.

Find more information at canada.ca/healthy-home.

Source – www.newscanada.com

 

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