An important inspection for homes, especially those on a private well water supply, is the water quality test.
This test usually covers bacterial, chemical and lead testing in our area. These water tests include results on: coliform, e-coli, nitrates/nitrites, sand, turbidity, pH, chlorine, iron and lead.
It is not common to find lead in the water supply, but it is possible.
Lead is a naturally occurring bluish-gray metal found in small amounts on the Earth’s outer layer. Lead can be found in all parts of our environment.
Lead is found in many different materials. It can still be found in metal products such as solder and pipes. Because of health concerns, the amount of lead found in products has been reduced in recent years.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says lead usually gets into the water from the delivery system.
Lead pipes are the main contributor to high lead levels in tap water. Other sources include parts of the water delivery system such as lead solder used to join copper pipes, brass in faucets, coolers, and valves.
Private wells more than 20 years old may contain lead in the “packer” element that is used to help seal the well above the well screen.
Some brands of older submersible pumps used in wells may also contain leaded-brass components. Corrosion of pipes and fixture parts can cause the lead to get into tap water.
Local water testing laboratories can perform tests on drinking water for a fee. If your water tests high in lead levels (the allowable limit is 15 parts per billion), try to identify the source of lead with the help of an experienced plumber. Heating or boiling water does not remove lead.