How Does Lead Get in Drinking Water?

Due to the media attention Flint, Michigan, received over its water crisis, a lot of people have questions about lead in public water systems around the U.S.


Lead (as well as copper) typically enters the public supply by leaching into water from corroded fixtures and outdated plumbing. Homes built before 1986 will likely have plumbing with copper pipes using solder that may contain lead.


Lead can cause serious negative health effects, especially in children. The challenge is that it is undetectable by human senses. You can check with your local water authority for information about lead levels, but it’s important to note that the CDC and EPA say there’s no level of lead recognized as safe for consumption.


If you have concerns about the presence of lead in your water, you can have it tested in a state-certified laboratory. You can also read more in our article on lead in drinking water.

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