how to test for lead in water

, this can be a frightening question to encounter. They don’t give specific levels, but let you know if the lead content is above a safe level. For a quick assessment, get a home testing kit from a hardware store and dip it in your water. Choose “Water Softener Systems”. If you’re worried about lead potentially affecting your family’s health, you may not want to wait to find a lab or a test kit. Testing Your Drinking Water For Lead and Copper Is Fast and Easy. Step 2: To check the header pipe, start by calling your water supplier. Trustworthy Source You then just enter your information and wait for a representative to call you. You can buy an instant lead water test kit at Home Depot, Lowes, Ace, or many other home improvement retailers. In order to get an accurate reading of lead levels, the water in your pipes needs to have been stagnant for at least six hours. This sample will reveal if there is lead in your home’s header pipe. The report may indicate a safe level of lead. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. It really depends on the lab and the volume of business that they do. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Is there lead in your tap water? Since some contaminant testing can be expensive, spend some time identifying potential problems. Test your water. Lead pipes are the main contributor to high lead levels in tap water. This option is free and very easy to conduct. Many public water systems will test drinking water for residents upon request. FirstAlert will give the consumer results within just ten minutes. 1. Make sure to take a sample after the water has been stagnant in the pipes for at least six hours. Ask for a test of the water from your own faucets. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. But this means that if the water contains less than 15 parts per billion, the test will read as “negative” for lead, when it may actually contain some lead. That means no running faucets, showers, or flushing the toilet for at least six hours beforehand. Barring that, there are a few things you can do to reduce exposure. You will also have the assurance of knowing that the results you received are accurate. Step 1: Contact a water-filtration company, for a free water quality test. Contact your water provider about replacing them. Some cities will come and test your home’s water for free. Contact your water supplier and ask if they offer water testing. Your email address will not be published. There are many different at-home test kits to choose from. You could also take it when you get home from work if no one else was home during the day. : Drop off your sample or mail it to the lab. This should be taken after the water has been running for a few minutes. Some labs have a mail-in option for samples, but many do not. Testing water for lead or taking samples should be carried out first thing in the morning, when the water has been sitting in the pipes overnight and the concentration of lead will be at its highest. Kinetico, Ecowater, and RainSoft are just a couple of names in the industry. of Health and Human Services, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/9\/94\/Test-Lead-Content-in-Water-Step-7.jpg\/v4-460px-Test-Lead-Content-in-Water-Step-7.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/9\/94\/Test-Lead-Content-in-Water-Step-7.jpg\/aid11687101-v4-728px-Test-Lead-Content-in-Water-Step-7.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. : Pick up a sample container or request that the lab mail it to you. Some faucet filters can also remove lead from your water. The morning is the most popular time for taking a sample since the water wasn’t used overnight. Test your water every year for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels. Tests show the water from New York City’s upstate reservoirs and the water distribution system is virtually lead-free. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Other sources include parts of the water delivery system such as lead solder used … This is a template to help you write a letter that informs parents and guardians of your lead in water test results and the action/s you are taking (or plan to take) to reduce the risk of exposure to lead in drinking water. Ther… Get a home lead-testing kit from a hardware store or online. This is the sample that will show if there are any lead pipes inside of your home. Lead and Copper Rule Compliance SPU began sampling and analysis to meet the EPA Lead and Copper Rule in 1992. It won’t just tell you whether or not lead is present; It will tell you, is present. Take a key or a coin and scratch the surface of the pipe. Contact your water supplier for more guidance. Lead Testing: If you suspect that your water contains lead, it needs to be analyzed by a certified laboratory, not someone giving a free analysis to sell you some type of treatment systems or at a minimum get a Do-It-Yourself Screening Test. [2] X Research source Home-testing kits are usually $10-25. Understand that water sampling results can vary depending on the time of day, season, method of sampling, flow of water and other factors. These testing kits are a quick home test you can use to see if your home water contains lead. A level below 1 ppb is safe and requires no action. Step 1: Find the contact information for your water supplier by visiting the website of your city government. Home-testing kits are usually $10-25. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. If more than one person lives in your home, inform everyone that you’re doing the test and to not use any of the water. Testing your home’s water The same people that test the water can also sell you a water-filtration system, making it the only lead-testing option that comes with a built-in solution. Go to your local government’s website and then to the page for their Water and Sewage department in order to find the proper contact information. : Schedule a date for the test to take place. The water disaster in Flint, MI forced an important change in EPA’s recommended methods for testing for lead in drinking water. You can go through a retailer, call the water filtration supplier directly, or fill out a form on their company website. The EPA is required to provide a Consumer Confidence Report, but it’s important to test the water from your own faucets to determine if your specific lead levels vary. The DEP runs at the state level, while the EPA runs at federal level.*. Test kits can also be purchased from online retailers, such as Amazon or Ebay. Educate customers and provide advice on how to maintain good water quality with a lead service line. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. In most cases, letting the water run and using cold water for drinking and cooking should keep lead levels low in your drinking water. You will also have the assurance of knowing that the results you received are accurate. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Additionally, the testing is free. Step 6: Wait for your results. Ask your lab if they can provide you with an informational pamphlet or email you instructions. The Department of Environmental Protection operates at a state level under the supervision of the EPA. The results will either be given in parts per billion or milligrams per liter. Some labs calculate a corrosivity index from other test results including the pH of the water, but a specific lead test is needed to determine the actual concentration of lead in drinking water. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Use this version if any of your samples came back at 2.01 ppb or greater. Simply choose your state from the drop-down menu, and you will then be directed to a list of DEP-certified labs in your state. If you detect a level of 1-5 ppb, flush the tap water for 1 minute before drinking it or install a filter. Some tests tell you to let the water run and then take a second sample for comparison. % of people told us that this article helped them. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Many are testing to EPA-standards, meaning that they are testing to 15 parts per billion. The good news is that there are several options for determining the answer. Pros: Instant Results, Affordable, and Easy to Use. This water test kit is designed to test for eight common contaminants like bacteria, lead, pesticides, nitrates, nitrites, chlorine, pH, and hard water.This easy to use ‘Do It Yourself’ kit comes with all you need to test your drinking water and gives you results instantly in just 10 minutes.. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. You get professional lab results and a free consult from our certified expert if either level is high. This is important, because while the EPA requires all municipal drinking water to have lead levels of less than 15 parts per billion, there is no amount of lead that is entirely safe. This will reveal if the pipes inside of your home are made from lead. These tests give a system-wide picture, but do not refl ect conditions at a specifi c household faucet. Cons: Turnaround time, Inconvenience, and Cost. See if your lab has any specific instructions on how the sample needs to be taken. So, depending on your state this could be one of the more expensive options. The header pipe underground can not be tested with the key test. At-home test kits are very affordable, ranging in price from $12-$25. Some will have the results in a few days, but others could have you waiting weeks for answers. Private, accredited laboratories will also test household drinking water for … Last Updated: May 11, 2020 : Once you have your results, you can speak with a sales representative about the options for home water-filtration. 3. Step 4: Collect your sample first thing in the morning. Most hardware stores carry them, or you can look online. Cons: No Lab Report Showing Parts Per Billion. Some testing kits may have different test strips to measure different substances. Step 3: See if your lab has any specific instructions on how the sample needs to be taken. This is the sample that will show if there are any lead pipes inside of your home. Lead rarely occurs naturally in water; it usually gets into the water from the delivery system. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 1,212 times. Offer water sampling by appointment or provide home sampling kits for customers to test their lead levels at the tap. If there is no scratch, the pipe is made of galvanized steel. In order to get an accurate reading of lead levels, the water in your pipes needs to have been stagnant for. Your email address will not be published. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Most labs will send the results by mail, but some will email the results upon request. Call Lowes Installation Services at 1-877-465-6937. Here we’ve covered five ways that you can test your tap water for lead. All water providers conduct lead tests in their facilities, but may not provide a test for specific homes. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. If you want to do a fast and easy test, this is your best option. Always use a state certified laboratory that conducts drinking water tests. Confirm the jar is properly sealed so the sample doesn’t leak. If the levels are above 5 ppb, your water needs filtering or the plumbing in your home needs replacement. 1. Step 2: Schedule a date for the test to take place. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. This will reveal if the pipes inside of your home are made from lead. . You can also ask your local water provider if they would suggest a company to work with. ). The instructions are usually the same for sample kits from your provider and a private company, but confirm all of the directions on your sample kit regardless. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Lab fees vary. Remember that you can’t see, smell, or taste lead, so the only way to know if there’s lead in the water is with a test. The reason these companies are agreeing to test your water for free is because they have a product to sell. Some of these labs have a quicker turnaround time than others. 5834, to make arrangements. In summary, don’t panic just yet. The department should be able to find records for your home’s header pipe. Testing in the morning is the most popular time because the faucets have been off all night. It won’t just tell you whether or not lead is present; It will tell you how much is present. If the test reveals that there is any lead in your water, contact your local water supplier for a more precise test. If you’re still unsure how to perform this option, there are several video tutorials available on Youtube. Step 3: Once you have your results, you can speak with a sales representative about the options for home water-filtration. Testing kits usually don’t have precise levels, but only ranges. FirstAlert will give the consumer results within just ten minutes. Step 4: Following the instructions on the test kit, wait the recommended time frame, and then check the strip. How to test your water for lead Before you begin sampling 1. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Call Home Depot Installation Services at 1-877-417-8223. You may be able to skip this step. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Have Your Water Tested by Your Local Water Supplier. The more the water runs, the less time it has to come into contact with any lead in your plumbing. Collect a second sample after the water has been running for about two minutes, after the first sample has been collected. You can do this one of three ways. Note that water can have a small amount of lead and still be considered safe. Municipal water suppliers are held to EPA standards and water supplied must be less than 15 parts per billion. You could also choose to go directly through the distributor. Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals By using our site, you agree to our. To flush water from a faucet that might have lead, let the water run for 30 seconds or so. If your water does test positive for lead, you may need to look into new plumbing. Seattle Public Utilities' Water Quality Laboratory is not set up to test high volumes of residential samples for lead. : Find the contact information for your water supplier by visiting the website of your city government. : Collect a sample from your tap in the morning. Because of which, this method doesn’t rule out the possibility of lead entering the water before it enters your home’s plumbing system. This article has been viewed 1,212 times. Offer water filters (one-time, point-of-use) that are certified to remove lead, if used properly. Lead can be found in the service lines (pipes) that connect buildings to the City’s water mains, in solder on copper pipes, and in faucets. In Ontario, water distribution systems are required to ensure lead in drinking water doesn’t … After receiving a free water test, you are expected to listen to the solutions they have to offer. Step 2: Collect a sample from your tap in the morning. Some labs can provide you with detailed instructions. Simply choose your state from the drop-down menu, and you will then be directed to a list of DEP-certified labs in your state. You can search the internet for companies near you, or visit your local Lowes or Home Depot, and have them connect you with one of their service providers. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. If there is lead in your water, the problem may be with your home pipes. Some labs allow you to use your own container while others will specify the size or simply advise you to use a clean, plastic bottle. You can also find a lab by phone. Many of these kits come with a variety of strips to test for different contaminants, so ensure that you are using the strip designated to test for lead. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. 1) Flush the water. Pros: Free, Easy, and Results Are Immediate. Make sure you check the instructions so you don’t have to repeat the test. One way to start looking for answers is to check your pipes to see if they … Some testing kits have specific packing instructions. This is important, because while the EPA requires all municipal drinking water to have lead levels of less than 15 parts per billion, there is. One way to start looking for answers is to check your pipes to see if they are made of lead. If there is no problem with your water quality, and lead levels are under 15 parts per billion, then you haven’t wasted any money. Children spend a significant part of their days at school or in a child care facility. Given the many health. The Department of Environmental Protection operates at a state level under the supervision of the EPA. Step 3: Place the lead test strip into the water. : Start with the pipes in your home. You can be assured that the test will be accurate if tested by the water supplier. Collect this sample as well if the kit instructs you to. Don’t run any faucets, showers, or flush the toilet before taking the sample. Cons: Time Consuming and Not Always an Option. The jar may have a fill line, or you might just have to fill the whole thing. For more information on issues relating to water, join our newsletter, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook. They range from $12-$80. Make sure you use the one for testing lead. : Wait for your results. You can do this one of three ways. Take charge of your family’s health and test your water today! Step 1:  Find a DEP-Certified lab near you by going to this EPA webpage. Test your water quality today. The Kit comes with: One Bacteria Test Vial Don’t run any faucets, showers, or flush the toilet before taking the sample. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Both retailers also have Home Services customer service lines that you can call to make an appointment. If you don’t receive an answer within 3 weeks, contact the agency to check on the progress. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Ensuring that the header pipe is not made from lead is the homeowner’s responsibility, as it is owned by the homeowner. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. Identify the fixtures you need to test: You will have to collect a water sample from each water fixture used for drinking, cooking or preparing food or infant formula. Step 1: Purchase a test kit at a local home improvement store, or order one from an online retailer. Tests for lead which involve sending samples to laboratories for analysis will be more sensitive than tests which you perform yourself at home. Find A Lab Certified by the Department of Environmental Protection, One way to test your home’s water for lead, is to find a testing lab certified by your state’s Department of Environmental Protection. This is especially a good idea if you know the water has been sitting in your plumbing for six hours or more. To check the header pipe itself, you may need to call your water supplier. If you decided to go through a retailer, such as Home Depot or Lowes, the most straightforward way to set an appointment is to go to the retailer’s website. This testing method will only ensure that your home’s pipes are or are not made of lead. If you’re on well water, you won’t get a CCR, so you should get your water tested. Lead levels are measured in parts per billion. Most tests only need a small amount of water for the test, but follow the instructions on the testing kit you use. X If a white line appears on the surface of the pipe, then it is lead. Try looking under “Public Works” or “Water and Sewage”. Just call the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791. In the US, all water providers are required to provide an annual water quality report to the EPA. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Given the many health repercussions of lead-contaminated water, this can be a frightening question to encounter. : Collect your sample first thing in the morning. If a lab is DEP-certified then you can trust that the testing procedures meet EPA standards. The kits are very easy to use, as it only requires taking a water sample and then placing the test strip into the water. Water (preferably de-ionized) Vinegar Lead Indicator: Sodium rhodizonate (can be purchased here) Lead Detection Procedure. For a list of EPA-approved lead-testing facilities, visit. You will then be directed to instructions on how to schedule your free water test and home consultation. Common ranges are no lead, a safe amount of lead, or a high level of lead. Lead begins to migrate out of the blood within about 48 hours after eating or drinking it, so more specialized tests may be necessary to … Both of these big box stores have nearly identical formats. Each kit may come with different instructions. 2. : Place the lead test strip into the water. A white scratch either will, or won’t, appear on the pipe, providing you with a clear and immediate answer. There are two types of pipes to check; the pipes inside the home and the header pipe. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\n<\/p><\/div>"}, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Main public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. Usually, water providers send you a collection device and you send it to them for a test. This page contains methods of detecting lead in a medium, be it in paint, water, dust, soil, or other surfaces. Go to either HomeDepot.com or Lowes.com. Some labs can provide you with detailed instructions. : To check the header pipe, start by calling your water supplier. This sample that will show if your header pipe is constructed of lead. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Make sure to take a sample after the water has been stagnant in the pipes for at least six hours. If the levels are above 5 ppb, your water needs filtering or the plumbing in your home needs replacement. For a comprehensive test, contact your water provider or an EPA-approved lab to run the assessment. Testing with a coin or a key will give instant results, but that doesn’t test the quality of the water itself. If a white line appears on the surface of the pipe, then it is lead. Try looking under “Public Works” or “Water and Sewage”. 3 Have a state-certified lab test your water. Depending on what state you are in, you could find yourself having to go out of your way to drive to the lab in order to get the sterile sample container and then traveling back to the lab to drop the sample off. There are many water filtration companies that will test your home’s water for free. Residents can call 519-759-4150, ext. Make a list and give each fixture a unique name (e.g., kitchen tap, infant area sink, etc. If you live in a less populated area, then you’ll probably have to get the test done by a private company. Waiting for responses via email may take quite a bit of time and even after putting in all of that effort, you may find this isn’t a service offered by your water supplier. Dealing with local government can be a time-consuming process. The first step in avoiding lead contamination is testing your home water supply. That means no running faucets, showers, or flushing the toilet for at least six hours beforehand. How do I interpret the test results? DWSD will test for lead in the water at no charge at homes where a child has tested positive for elevated blood lead levels, or when DWSD is replacing a lead service line. Because lead is odorless and has no taste, the only way you will know if you have lead in your home’s tap water is to have it tested. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Ask to have your water tested. There are 18 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Follow the instructions provided. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Step 2: Call or email your water supplier and tell them you are looking to have your tap water tested for lead. Learn more... Lead in drinking water is a potentially serious problem, and prolonged exposure can cause developmental or mood disorders, fatigue, and problems with learning and concentration. Testing has shown that corrosion control treatment is effective and keeps levels of lead in water below EPA standards in most homes with service pipes made of lead or other lead plumbing. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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