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How to Test Your Drinking System for Lead October 16, 2017

Henrietta, Monroe
How to Test Your Drinking System for Lead, Henrietta, New York

Whether you use a private or public drinking system, your water supply has the potential for contamination. Sources of pollution, eroding pipes, and city-wide water issues can all contribute to elevated levels of lead. Below, Anderson Water Systems in Rochester, New York, shares how to test for this contaminant so you can assess if your home needs additional water filtration methods.

3 Steps to Testing Your Drinking System for Lead

Many large cities offer water testing kits for free to area residents who are concerned about potential pollutants in their drinking systems. If you live in an urban area, contact your city department of water management to see if you are eligible for free testing.

You can also purchase a simple lead test online that comes complete with small bottles and a box to mail in the samples to a lab that assesses water quality. Either way, you’ll likely follow a process like this.

1. Don’t Use the Tap for Several Hours

drinking systemsTo get an accurate reading, water quality tests require homeowners to take samples from a tap that hasn’t been used for several hours to obtain “first-draw water.” This time varies by test, but six hours is common. Take your samples in the morning so you don’t have to actively avoid using the faucet. This will show the best representation of the contaminants that are in your drinking system.

2. Collect Samples

Individual tests have varying methods of sample collection, from small vials to larger bottles. Follow the instructions on your kit so you know how much water to fill the containers with.

3. Send the Samples for Analysis

Finally, you’ll package up your water samples and send them in for testing. Your location and the lab processing time will factor into how long this process takes, but it could be anywhere from a few weeks to several months. 

When you receive the results, visit the CDC website to learn more about lead contamination levels and how they may affect your drinking system. You may need to implement new filtration methods or even get new pipes to reduce your contamination levels. Call Anderson Water Systems at (585) 385-6610 or visit the website to learn about how they can help you ensure your water is safe to drink.

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