How Can Lead Enter The Drinking Water?

Lead can enter drinking water when service lines that contain lead corrode, especially where the water has high acidity or low mineral content that corrodes pipes and fixtures, according to the EPA. The most common problem in homes is the result of brass or chrome-plated brass faucets and fixtures with lead solder, from which significant amounts of lead can enter the water.

Residents in Birmingham and White Lake Township are on alert after testing found that water exceeded acceptable lead levels for municipal water systems. Now the Oakland County Health Division is assisting these municipalities in order to get those water systems back in compliance with lead standards.

According to a release, the high lead levels were uncovered after there was routine testing done, which is required by the Michigan Department of Environment and Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) under Michigan’s Safe Drinking Water Act.

The Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act has changed to better protect your health. New water sampling rules have been added to better detect possible lead in your drinking water. These changes require communities with lead service lines to do more sampling. This new sampling method is expected to result in higher lead results, not because the water source or quality for residents has changed, but because the Act has more stringent sampling procedures and analysis.
Thirteen Michigan water systems failed to meet federal standards for lead in drinking water in the last half of 2018, and seven of those systems had lead levels at least twice as high as the state will allow starting in 2025.

Oakland County Health Division has a laboratory that is certified to test residents’ water for lead and copper. There will be an investigation into the source of the lead exposure, along with public education efforts, health officials say. Though we only operate 17 drinking water systems in Oakland County, the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office will work with all Oakland County communities in their efforts to educate the public and develop their responses. Here is a list of things that can be done to reduce the risk of lead in drinking water. If you suspect that your home’s plumbing or faucets could contain lead or lead-based solder, you should have your water tested. Replace faucets with those made in 2014 or later. Use only water from the cold-water tap for drinking, cooking, and especially for making baby formula. Hot water is likely to contain higher levels of lead. You may choose to install a water filter that is certified for lead removal. If a water filter is installed, replace filters at least as often as recommended by the manufacturer. Do not boil water to remove lead. Boiling will not remove the lead. Use bottled water for drinking and cooking. Commercially prepared bottled water that meets federal and state drinking water standards are recommended. Clean aerators. Aerators are small attachments at the tops of faucets which regulate flow of water. They can accumulate small particles of lead in their screens. Remove and sanitize monthly.

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