Each valley city has its own unique plumbing challenges and advantages. As your Mesa, AZ Plumber serving homes all over the valley, we wanted to educate you about one of those challenges: lead and copper in the drinking water.
Because there are older homes and various plumbing systems in place, residents often wonder about water quality when it comes to their plumbing in Mesa. Here is some information that Mesa residents, and residents all over the valley, need to know.
How does it get there?
The fact is, lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. It usually gets into your water after it leaves the treatment plant. This typically happens through the corrosion of materials containing lead in household plumbing. The most likely sources of lead in your household water are lead pipes, lead solder on copper pipes, brass faucets, fittings, and valves.
Do I have copper or lead in my plumbing in Mesa?
For all valley cities, lead pipes are no longer installed for service lines or in household plumbing and lead solder has been outlawed in Arizona since 1987. Homes built before 1986 are more likely to have lead pipes, fixtures and solder. However, new homes are also at risk: even legally “lead-free” plumbing may contain up to 8 percent lead. The most common problem is with brass or chrome-plated brass faucets and fixtures which can leach significant amounts of lead into the water, especially hot water.
What can copper and lead to do to my health?
When people come in contact with lead, it may enter their bodies and accumulate over time, resulting in damage to the brain, nervous system, red blood cells, and kidneys. Infants and children who drink water containing lead in excess of the action level could experience delays in their physical or mental development.
Some people who drink water containing copper in excess of the action level over a relatively short amount of time could experience adverse health effects, including vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and nausea.
How can I reduce my exposure?
Run your water to flush out lead.
Anytime the water has not been used for more than 6 hours – overnight, for example, or during the day when people are gone to work or school – it should be cleared from the pipes before being used for drinking or cooking. Let the cold water faucet run until you can feel the water getting colder or reach a steady temperature, usually 30 to 60 seconds.
Use cold water for cooking and preparing baby formula.
Hot water dissolves lead/copper more quickly than cold water so don’t use water from your hot-water faucet for cooking or drinking.
Look for alternative sources or treatment of water.
Some treatment can reduce the amount of lead in your drinking water. Reverse-osmosis and distillation units can be used for that purpose. A few types of water filters also remove lead.
Have your water tested.
The City of Mesa is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but of course it cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. So, if you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested. Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline 1-800-426-4791 or at www.epa.gov/safewater/lead.
At Ben Franklin Plumbing AZ, we do our best to avoid and reduce the risk of anything with lead with our plumbing work. We stay up to date with plumbing supplies and options that offer the best quality, efficiency and the safest materials. If you would like us to perform a plumbing inspection and educate you on your unique plumbing system, contact us today. (602) 273-1740