With Flint, Michigan, in mind, testing for lead in drinking water has become a high priority for many U.S. residents.
In Michigan, the problems are related to a municipal water source. If your water comes from a well, the potential for lead contamination and other threats can be higher or lower, based on location and other factors.
Lead can contaminate your wall water, but you can test for this and other toxins to ensure your family’s continued safety.
Facts about Lead in Drinking Water
Lead, a naturally occurring metal, is present throughout the Earth’s outer layer. Much of that contamination is the result of mining, manufacturing and the burning of fossil fuels.
Metals typically enter the water supply through the delivery system, including pipes and pipe welds.
The human body can successfully filter out small quantities of heavy metals without harm. However, when concentrations increase, a variety of complications can result. Risks include damage to the nervous system, kidneys, red blood cells and the brain.
Adults can safely handle much higher levels of toxic metals than children can. Even a small amount can cause serious illnesses in babies and young children.
The Threat of Lead in Well Water
Typically, wells are more impervious to contamination than the municipal water supply. However, lead and other contaminants can sometimes be found in private and shared wells.
If the well is more than 20 years old, it may have been sealed with “packers” that contained lead. Older well pumps may also include brass components that can emit lead.
Pumps manufactured after 1995 were prohibited from incorporating these potentially hazardous components.
Of course, if your home contains the type of pipes that may pose a contamination threat, lead can be present in your water as a result of having traveled through your pipes. The well itself, in that case, is likely to still be safe.
Ensuring Your Well Water Safety
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend having your well inspected and tested every spring. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency laws and guidelines only apply to municipal utility companies. Consequently, the onus is on you to make sure your well water remains safe.
Other factors that warrant water testing include recent flooding, replacement or repair work on the well itself, or a change in the quality of your water.
On a daily basis, experts recommend running the cold tap for a minute or two each morning to flush out impurities before using the water. Never use the hot tap for cooking or drinking purposes, as hot water dissolves lead more quickly than cold.
Here at Mike Zimmerman Well Service, we care about your health and well-being. Take a look at our Well Water Testing Checklist. You can also learn more about the safety of Utah water at the USU Extension site.
With more than three decades of experience helping customers throughout Wyoming, Utah and all along the Wasatch Front, we are your locally owned and operated expert in well drilling and installation, as well as well rehab, pump service and repair.
Contact us today for more information about testing for lead in your well water.