5 Million People Could Be Drinking Lead-Contaminated Water
The city water that flows through your pipes could be poisonous. While we don't want to sound alarmist, we also want to make sure you know the true potential harms of city water.
In NJ and across most of the country, cases of lead-contaminated water has been making the news. We recently shared a scary story from USA today on Facebook, "4 million Americans could be drinking toxic water and would never know."
In Ranger, Texas, water was flowing through century-old lead pipes. Water with dangerously high levels of lead was used for drinking, cooking, and cleaning for years.
Although Ranger and Texas officials were aware of a citywide lead problem for two years, “nobody told the Walton family until… a USA TODAY Network reporter told them in early November."
The family was first alerted to the presence of lead in their water - about 28 times the federal limit - when they received their son's blood test which showed high levels of lead.
Unfortunately, this occurrence is all-too-common. Local, state, and federal governments may or may not be aware of the presence of lead in water supplies, but it's up to you to find out and do something about it.
The USA TODAY Network investigation found that “the number of people getting lead-contaminated drinking water, or water not properly tested for lead, since 2010 is about 5 million.” Around "4 million Americans get water from small operators who skipped required tests or did not conduct the tests properly, violating a cornerstone of federal safe drinking water laws."
Even when there is protocol in place to conduct periodic water testing, if safety test are ignored, regulators often do not make them comply. "Officials in West Virginia, for example, labeled more than a dozen systems 'orphans' because they didn't have owners or operators."
The investigation's findings reveal a simple message: we cannot rely on anyone to test our water. For now, we must be vigilant and test the water ourselves.
This is disturbing information that endangers the lives of millions of people across the country. Untested water for 5 years shouldn't be the norm, but unfortunately, it is in many parts of the county (often in remote and rural communities).
Health Effects of Short-Term Overexposure to Lead
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these are some of the symptoms of lead poisoning when a person is exposed to very high levels of lead over a short period of time:
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of Appetite
- Memory Loss
- Pain and Tingling in Hands and/or Feet
Since these symptoms are often confused with the regular mood swings that we experience throughout the day, they often go ignored or unnoticed. Very high levels of lead exposure can cause death.
Health Effects of Prolonged Lead Exposure
- Abdominal Pain
- Mental Confusion and Distraction
- Memory Loss and Forgetfulness
- Nausea and Sickness
Prolonged lead exposure can also lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, irreversible brain damage, lowered IQ, behavioral problems, language delays, and even death. Additionally, since lead can cross the placental barrier, pregnant mothers can risk exposing their unborn child.
The risks for permanent damage are extremely troubling, and local, state, and federal governments should do something about it. Until everyone recognizes the harmful effects of these lenient practices, we will have to test our own water and find water filtration solutions to ensure the safety of our families.
How to Find Out if There's Lead in Your Water
Gold Medal Service wants to help by testing your water supply and recommending water filtration solutions (if necessary). We offer free water filtration system installation evaluations. You can never be too safe when it comes to your short and long-term health. The risk of permanent harm should give you something to think about.
An expert plumber in old bridge NJ can recommend a water conditioning or filtration system to ensure clean, safe water for drinking, bathing, and cleaning. Our water treatment systems also minimize the risk of getting sick, improve the taste of food and drink, and ensure a cleaner plumbing system and home.
Even if you are confident in the quality of your tap water, it's still a good idea to have your water tested. You can usually get a free water quality report from your utility, but if not, you can test your water using an at-home test kit (from your local home improvement store). These at-home tests have their limitations, but they’ll give you a general sense of how contaminated your water supply is.
There are ways that lead can enter your water supply even if they don't run through any lead pipes. Lead can be deposited into you water from faucets and solder on pipes. We all have an impact on water. Click here for ways that you can improve your municipal water supply.
Benefits of Home Water Filtration
Here are just some of the many benefits of home water filtration:
- Clean water at a fraction of the price of bottled water.
- Low environmental impact, especially when replacing a bottled water habit.
- Water filtration choices that fit your needs and desires.
- Reduce hard minerals that affect water quality.
- Reduce scaling, soap scum, white spots, and rusting.
- Most of our water purification systems come with some conditioning features too.
- Improve appliance functioning and extend their useful lifespans.
- Improve bathing and showering and reduce the amount of cleaning supplies you use.
In addition to the possibility of lead contamination, most water supplies contain dissolved minerals picked up from underground deposits. These deposits can leave unsightly stains around your plumbing fixtures, eventually leading to chemical residues and compromised pipes. These contaminants, biological and otherwise, can be removed with a good water filtration system.
Water Filtration and Treatment Solutions
Gold Medal Service offers free water filtration system installation evaluations. Our experienced technicians will assess your water supply and provide you with water filtration solutions that match your home’s need. We’re available 24/7, 365 days a year, so what are you waiting for? Give us a call at (732) 365-3199 or schedule an appointment online!
Water filtration units offer the convenience of tap water while ensuring clean water without the contaminants for you and your family. Gold Medal Service offers a wide array of water filtration solutions, from under-sink filters to whole-home water conditioning and filtration.
If you have tested your water and it came back positive for lead, there are a couple of different options you may want to consider. At minimum, you want to filter your drinking water through a faucet filter, refrigerator filter, or water pitcher filter. We recommend getting more protection for the water that you bath with, cook and drink with.
Under-sink filters only filter the water going to your sink. If you want to filter out your entire water system, you will need a larger, more expensive filter that is connected to the water main.
A water filtration system is one of the best home improvement investments you can make.
These low cost systems remove minerals and contaminants from your water, protecting your plumbing and fixtures while providing you with superior water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning:
- Carbon absorption filters use activated carbon to filter microscopic particles. They are inexpensive and easy to install.
- Ceramic water filters are usually directly installed underneath the sink. They are great at getting rid of chlorine and other impurities in the water.
- Reverse osmosis filters use a membrane that traps most water contaminants. This is one of the best filters you can get to remove sediment, chlorine, odors, taste, and minerals. They can either be installed under the sink or directly to your main water supply.
- Whole-home water conditioners are connected to the main water supply to provide your entire home with clean, conditioned water. This helps reduce your need for cleaning products, extend the lifespan and efficiency of your appliances, reduce water staining, increase energy efficiency, and provide huge health and beauty benefits.
If you are unsure of the cleanliness of your drinking water, call Gold Medal Service right away for a free water quality evaluation!
We’ll make sure that the water that circulates through your home as clean as possible.
For NJ homeowners who need a trusted plumber to inspect their water supply, the professionals at Gold Medal Service are ready to serve.
Give us a call at (732) 365-3199 or schedule an appointment online!