We write a lot in this blog about how to have better water for your household. We discuss dirt and sediment, taste and odor, and other common contaminants you can reduce with different filters at home. Sometimes, however, the solution can be as simple as turning on the tap.
We’re talking about potentially reducing the levels of lead contamination in your drinking water supply. Certainly, a filter can help. We’re strong advocates of filtered tap water. A good starting step doesn’t even require a filter. As your local water quality report will tell you, you can reduce lead in your drinking water by letting your water run for a while before you pour some in your glass.
So be sure to flush your pipes, and use the cold tap for drinking and cooking. Heavy metals such as lead and mercury can seep into your water from the plumbing throughout your home. The health effects of excessive exposure to these heavy metals can be serious, especially for the physical and mental development of babies and young children. In fact, lead consumption has not been found to be safe at any level. Adults can also suffer the toxic effects of heavy metals with a range of conditions from kidney problems to high blood pressure.
Here’s how to flush your pipes effectively: If your drinking water supply hasn’t been used in the past six hours, run water from the cold tap until it is at its coldest point. The longer it has been sitting in your home’s pipes, the more lead it may contain. Whenever you or another person (or pet) in your home will be consuming the water, turn on only the cold water line. It is especially important to flush the tap before using the water for baby formula. And remember to use the cold tap only for consumption. The hot tap is likely to contain higher levels of lead, since the warmer temperatures dissolve more of the heavy metal.
For further protection against lead, you can certainly consider a water filter certified to reduce lead. But it is sure nice to know that taking better care of ourselves can be as simple as running the tap a little longer before we drink.