The last thing that any well owners want is lead in their well water. Read on to learn all about lead in private well water and how to solve the problem if it arises.
What Is Lead?
Lead is a natural element. Usually, we find lead in the form of a gray metal that can be found in the earth’s ground. Lead has many uses and is in many everyday products. Among those products are batteries, pipes, paint, and even gasoline to name a few. Due to health and safety concerns of possible lead consumption, there has been a reduction of its use in products that might come into contact with consumable good over the last 40 years.
How Can Lead Get Into My Private Well Water?
Lead is not usually in water. When lead is found in drinking water, it is usually as a result of the materials used to bring the water for your use. The most common cause of lead in drinking water is due to the corrosion of pipes, faucets, and/or other plumbing fixtures that are over 20 years old.
What Is Corrosion?
Corrosion is a chemical reaction that is caused between the water in your plumbing and the metal that your plumbing is made out of. This chemical reaction causes the lead found in the metal to break away and enter the water. There are a number of factors that lead to the corrosion process:
- The age of the plumbing infrastructure. Plumbing that is older than 20 years are more likely to corrode than newer plumbing.
- The acidity and alkalinity of the water plays a role in the chemical reaction between the water and the metal pipes.
- The temperature of the water can expediate or slow down the corrosion process.
- The amount of time that water remains stagnant in the pipes.
Health Effects Of Lead Consumption
Even small amounts of lead consumption is harmful to human health as the lead can accumulate over time. Children and fetuses are especially vulnerable as lead can harmfully stunt developmental, physical, and mental growth. Lead consumed by children have been known to cause behavior and learning problems, slow growth, hearing problem, and anemia. Pregnant women who consume lead may experience reduced fetus growth, premature labor, or miscarriage. Lead in adults can lead to cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, and reproduction problems.
What Can I Do To Remove Lead From My Well?
A water well system inspector will need to come out to determine if you have lead in your private well and what the source of the lead is. If the well system or household plumbing are the source of lead, then the owner can take steps to remediate the situation.
- Replace the parts of the well system or plumbing causing the issues.
- Treat the water through filtration, reverse osmosis, or other technology designed to purify the water.
- Treat the water in the well directly through a water treatment system that balances out the acidity and alkalinity in the water.
- Flush the stagnant water from the pipes to ensure fresh water is available and less likely to have corroded the pipes.
If you are concerned about lead in your private well, you should contact a well contractor and they will determine if you have lead and the cause of it and help you figure out the best course of action to take to fix the problem.