Lead in Drinking Water: Health Risks Go Far Beyond Flint. What Filter is Best?

Lead in Drinking Water: Health Risks Go Far Beyond Flint. What Filter is Best?

Alarming lead levels found in children.

A Reuters news release last week gives us a glimpse of how far-reaching the problem of lead in our drinking water really is with the discovery that children across California show blood levels of lead up to 3 times higher than the safety standards allow. (*1)

Communities across the country are becoming alarmed at the high rates of lead contamination in their drinking water. Although Flint, MI may have become infamous for the egregious decisions that politicians made that put citizens at risk, the truth is that lead-tainted water is more common than most of us realized.

This comes after a December 2016 special report released by Reuters that included a map of over 100 "hot spots" across the US that tested for higher lead levels than in Flint, MI. (*2)

To say that this set off an alarm is an understatement.

Where is the lead coming from?

There are many sources of lead contamination, and although great lengths have been taken in the past several decades to reduce lead exposure, serious contamination continues from lead in water pipes in municipals systems and homes built before the 1980's.

According to safeplumbing.org. there are a number of reasons why lead is still found in drinking water today including:

  • "Nearly all homes built before the 1980s still have lead solder connecting copper pipes.
  • Lead still can be found in some interior water pipes and in pipes connecting a home or business to the main water pipe in the street.
  • While lead may still be found in metal water taps, these products must pass rigorous NSF/ANSI 61 testing and certification to assure the lead content is below safety thresholds.
  • Water chemistry also affects lead levels. Water not treated properly for corrosion control may cause lead to leach from leaded plumbing materials into the water. Lead found in tap water typically comes from corrosion of fixtures or from solder connecting the pipes. Lead also can leach into a water supply when water sits in leaded pipes for many hours. Carefully controlled water chemistry prevents dangerous levels of lead from entering the drinking water system from the pipes
  • Some major U.S. cities still have 100 percent lead piping bringing water from the utilities to homes and businesses. The dissolved oxygen in the water combines with the metal at the surface (copper, zinc or lead) to form a metal oxide. This oxidation layer naturally develops through the decades to coat lead piping and prevent lead from getting into the water supply. When water conditions require it, water utilities also add lime or orthophosphates as a further barrier to prevent lead from getting into drinking water." (*3)

Advocates for safe water call for an investment in infrastructure that includes the elimination of "lead service lines" and replacement with lines that won't leach harmful contaminants. The EPA estimates the cost of accomplishing this at between $16 and $80 billion. Don't expect this to happen anytime soon. So what to do until then?

What can you do about lead in your tap water?

Well, you can do what millions of Americans do every single day all across the country and buy cases of bottled water in millions of plastic bottles. Not only does this create enormous waste but do you realize that regulations of bottled water are next to nil??? Do you really know what's in that water you are chugging? The answer may shock you.

(Don't get me started on the corporations who are raking in mega millions in the bottled water racket while local communities are left aghast that their local politicians signed the rights to their water sources away at sometimes greatly discounted prices. So while communities all across the nation struggle with water shortage, companies like Nestle are pumping millions of gallons of water out of our aquifers into plastic bottles and shipping them all over the world. I don't know about you, but this makes me angry. But that's another issue, I guess.)

What filter should I buy?

Why not save yourself the trouble of lugging bottles and jugs from the store and filter the lead out??? There are a number of ways to do this. You can distill your water, get a reverse osmosis water system, or buy a variety of filters that can be installed on your counter top or under the counter.

There are advantages and disadvantages to certain methods. Low flow rates, high energy use and water waste are the downsides of of distillation and R/O. At Highwater Filters, we look for effective, efficient and affordable solutions for drinking water. Why pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars and hire professional installers when you can install a counter top system right on your faucet in a matter of just a few minutes? Or, if you have limited space on your counter and/or want to keep your filtering system out of sight (with peace of mind), you might choose an under counter model that may require some plumbing experience to install.

Get Extra Savings Now!

For a limited time, we are offering an additional 5% Off (See codes below) our already low prices on select systems for removing lead from drinking water.

Please visit our website to learn more and to purchase the New Wave 10-Stage Premium Water Filters (code 10STGDIS), Cuz'n inline water filter UC-200F (code CUCDIS), Cuz'n Bath Ball Tub Filter (code BBDIS) and the Cuz'n KR-101 (code KRDIS). You must use the codes at checkout to get your discount.

Please contact us if you have any questions or trouble choosing the right filter for you. We are happy to help! Email us at info@highwaterfilters.com or call 509-685-0933.

Thanks for stopping by!

Reference Links:

*1: East County Magazine

*2. Reuters Special Report: Unsafe at Any Level

*3. Lead in Plumbing (safeplumbing.org)

photo credit above: Reuters/Chris Wattie 


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