Lead is a poisonous element which causes harmful effects to our body when it is consumed. Though, in many ways, it is very useful but also highlighted as a very dangerous element. Lead is a neurotoxin and most damage to pregnant women and children. In children, it causes brain disorders due to which they find it difficult to learn something.
Due to the water crisis in Michigan, USA, It has grabbed the attention of the world. There is the presence of lead in water supply by municipalities in hundreds of major cities of US. In all 50 US states, about 2,000 water supply systems are identified by USA Today and in the report, there is contamination with lead between 2013 to 2016. According to Detroit Free Press, there are hundreds of major US cities which have still 100% lead piping which is connecting to home. And by The Guardian, cheats are used by at least 33 US cities to conceal dangerous level of lead present in their water.
To know when to test the water
For getting a perfect water filter, there is the need of knowing the contaminants of the water that are needed to remove. There are various methods for water filtration for removing certain contaminants from the water. If you are able to check the various chemical lurk in your water supply then you will be able to get the effective filter to deal with them.
But it is not an easy process to test the water for knowing its chemical lurk. For this, we will discuss various ways in this post.
Know when to test the water
You should not be sure that water is clear in spite your drinking water is odorless and crystal clear. Contaminants like lead are odorless and colorless but are able to create problems for drinking water.
It should be in habit to test your drinking water on a regular basis for any types of contaminants. There are some indications for testing the water and you should stop drinking water directly after seeing these indications.
Why there is the presence of lead in our water supply?
In the water service pipes, there is corrosion of pipes, fixtures, and solder from where it becomes easy for the lead to enter in our water supply. The water, which acidity is more and mineral content is less, is able to affect the pipes quickly. Those homes which are built before 1986 are likely to get more lead-contaminated water because of the presence of more lead pipes and solder in their plumbing.
Methods to test the water quality for lead
There are three ways to test the drinking water quality:
1. By Water Quality Report
Water quality is regularly tested by the municipality and this information is made public by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the form of Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) every year. The CCR is free and it tells about the water contents and from where your water comes.
There needs to be some awareness about these reports because there may be chances that the result of the water quality test has been done a few months ago. So consider it because things changes in a very short period of time. Since testing is done at the water treatment plant so the given report may not be 100% right as water gets contaminated in pipes during the journey from plant to your home.
You can contact directly with your local water company to obtain a water quality report like this.
2. By a Water Test Kit
With the help of a water test kit, you will get the instant test result. It gives the relevant result and also up to date. A home water testing kit is a powerful tool and also available at a reasonable price.
There are some advantages of using water testing kits like they are faster and give instant result and also they are inexpensive and simple to use. There is a package of strips with the kit that contains some reactants which are exposed to drinking water and if any contaminants are present in the water then their color changes accordingly.
However, there is one thing to consider these test kits may be less accurate as compared to lab tests. They may be unable to test harmful contaminants unless there is the presence of high level of contaminants in your drinking water.
3. By a Laboratory Test
The laboratory test is an expensive method and also result comes very slowly but the result is very accurate as much as possible.
Information in the report is very important regarding the presence of any type of contaminants in your water supply. Report on laboratory test alerts you if there are chances of any health risk and gives you the details.
For in-depth testing, send a sample of water to a professional lab and they will check your water for different contaminants like bacteria, heavy metals, toxic metals and other volatile organic compounds. You may get the result in few days. It is the best option for those whose water is not tested by water municipality.
Ways To Get Lead Out Of Water
Using a water filter for lead removal is the simplest way. There are some certified systems which are capable of removing 98% of lead from water. Firstly, there is a need to identify the contaminants present in water and then try to remove them.
It is recommended by CDC to flush your water system before using for cooking and drinking purposes. Longer the water sits in the pipe, more will be the accumulation of lead in the water, so open the faucet for 1-2 minutes until the water becomes cold. Hot tap water dissolves more lead than cold water.
Methods of Filtration
Below there are some methods which are best suited for lead filtration:
Which Water Filters Remove Lead
Here are some best water filters for lead removal:
1. iSpring RCC7 RO SystemThe most effective way of water filtration at home is Reverse Osmosis (RO). RO is recommended as one of the best water filters by Center for Disease Control and Prevention for lead removal. The customer feedback for this model is very good on Amazon.
It is Gold Seal Certified by Water Quality Association (WQA). This iSpring RCC7 is capable of removing lead by 96-98%, which is the highest rejection rate among other available filters. It also removes the other contaminants from the water.
It has a 1-year guarantee and lifetime support from WQA certified specialists and the customer service is also good.
2. WaterChef C7000 Filter
This system is certified by NSF and is capable of removing 99% of lead from water along with other contaminants present in the water. You can check here as it is certified by NSF or not.
It has a feature to tell you about the end of the lifespan of the filter which makes you able to take the decision of changing the filters at the right time. It also has a lifetime warranty.
3. Filtrete MaximumThe Filtrete Maximum is also certified by NSF and capable of removing up to 99% of lead along with other contaminants. It is installed under the sink and requires a very little space.
Its lifetime is about 6 months and its price is also reasonable.
Is Brita Filter Pitcher is Effective Enough to Remove Lead?
Brita Longlast filter is capable to filter 120 gallons of water and its efficiency of removing lead from water is 99%. It is also certified by WQA.
Ion exchange resin is used by filters like Brita with the combination of coconut-based activated carbon and slightly reduce the level of lead from the water but not effective enough to provide safe drinking water.
Is PUR Water Filter Capable Of Removing Lead?
There is a wide range of filter pitchers, faucet-mounted filters are offered by PUR. A PUR water filter pitcher is capable to reduce the quantity of lead from 20 ppb to 7 ppb, not enough to guarantee that cooking and drinking is safe.
The PUR Advanced Faucet water filter is capable of removing 99% of lead and 96% of mercury including 70 other water impurities and this is certified by NSF. Many customers experienced that after about 6-10 months of use, the PUR faucet filter stops working suddenly. This problem arises may be due to the use of sub-standard materials due to which hair line cracks are developed and makes the product unstable.
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