How can I protect myself from lead in water?
There are several simple things homeowners can do to reduce lead exposure in drinking water.
Flush your water before consuming it. Flushing your water when it hasn’t been used for more than several hours is a simple way to reduce lead exposure. That’s because lead can enter water when in prolonged contact with plumbing, fittings, and fixtures that contain lead. Flush the cold water according to the following guidelines:
- lead service line -> 5 minutes
- copper/other service line -> 30 seconds to 2 minutes
Clean aerators on faucets. Particulate lead can build up on the inside of faucet aerators. Periodically removing these and rinsing away any accumulated debris can eliminate a possible lead source.
Consider using a filter. Read the label and make sure it meets NSF/ANSI Standard 53 for lead reduction.
Inspect your service line and report it. Use the online tool linked at romi.gov/wsld to perform a simple inspection to determine what your service line is made of. Then, using the online form, submit your findings, along with a picture of your water meter to the Department of Public Services for review. This effort will help city staff develop a comprehensive inventory of lead service lines.