Hot Topics: What Is an Acceptable Level of Lead in Drinking Water?
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Original Post: lead in my drinking water
My water test came back with .019 mg/l reading of lead. EPA says max range should be .015 Should I be concerned? It seems like a small difference.
Tolyn Ironhand Group Moderator
I would say it is really up to you. Some people would say it's a big deal while others would not. It really depends on how much of the water you consume. Do you have children? Maybe you should have everyone in your family have their body lead levels checked to see if your levels are heightened.
If you were to address the issue, you also need to figure out if it's from the town/city water system or from the building's.
marksr Forum Topic Moderator
I wouldn't be overly concerned, although I would make sure I drink bottled water and not the tap water. Lead paint is a bigger health hazard for kids than adults; I don't know if that transfers to water or not. I like the suggestion to have your doctor check everyone's lead levels.
As others have alluded to, if you have kids, then I would be concerned. If you're older, then maybe not so much. The problem with lead is that it's cumulative and will only get worse with time.
Tratts' advice is probably the best. You need to find the source. Then you can address the issue to continue as-is or take corrective action.
If you had two glasses of water, one with marginal amounts of lead and one with none, which would you choose?
An RO systems with dedicated tap for drinking and cooking is only a few hundred dollars and in my opinion is a better/cheaper/easier solution to bottled water!
An added benifit: RO (reverse osmosis) system will remove almost every other contaminate and is clean-tasting. I can't drink "city" water anymore—it tastes like pool water!
Lead in the body can be bioacummulative. We added an undersink RO system for drinking and cooking water.
When I get the water tested for lead, they ask for two samples: “First Draw”, where water sat in pipes overnight, and “Running Water”, where you run the water a bit before you take the sample. I get a difference : First Draw = 0.006 mg/L and Running Water = 0.003 mg/L. You can see they are both low, but one is in fact 2 times the other.
I'm just mentioning that because maybe you would get a better result (< 0.015 mg/L) if you let the water run a little bit. At least that might make you feel a little better, knowing that if you let the water run a little you are certainly within EPA bounds. (And also, as you say, you are only over the high limit by a hair.)
XSleeper Group Member
This source also mentions running the water. In addition, it recommends examining your fittings. https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/bchs/cl...nkingwater.pdf
I would personally be concerned. EPA has to set realistic limits so they can actually be met. That doesn't mean they are safe. I like the RO system idea.