For all those homeowners who are concerned about the presence of lead in their plumbing fixtures and pipes, take note: in 1986, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prohibited the installation of new lead pipes, fixtures and fittings through the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). This act defined lead in plumbing fixtures and pipes as anything above 25 percent of the weighted average of those components. So if your home was built after 1986, you have lead-free fixtures and pipes.
Today, the maximum allowable use of lead in soldering and flux, which is used to connect fittings, is 0.2 percent. The SDWA also prohibits the repair of plumbing fixtures and pipes with materials that aren’t lead free. This includes all plumbing in:
- Any residential house
- Public water systems
- Non-residential buildings that provide drinking water
Environmentally Conscious Plumbing
Since the specialists at Blue Planet Plumbing are conscious about the environment, they only use lead-free plumbing fixtures and components. To ensure the safety of the drinking water for you and your family, they use only quality lead-free parts. You can rely on Blue Planet Plumbing for safe products and courteous service.
If you’re concerned about the possibility of lead in your existing pipes and plumbing fixtures, call 828-423-6289 to speak to a plumbing specialist. Keep in mind that any home built before 1986 — which comprises most of Asheville — may still have lead pipes and other plumbing components.
Dangers of Lead in Drinking Water
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the EPA, most lead in residential drinking water comes from lead-based paint and the dust from the paint. However, in some older homes, lead from pipes and fittings can leach into the drinking water at dangerous levels.
The danger of lead in drinking water comes from its effects on the human body. It stays in the bloodstream, where it can cause a variety of health ailments. The danger threshold of lead in drinking water is 15 parts per billion, which is referred to as the “action level” by the EPA. Fifteen parts per billion isn’t enough to raise the level of lead in most adults, but this level is dangerous in infants and children.
Testing for Lead in Drinking Water
You can measure the amount of lead in your own drinking water. Alternatively, you can call your water provider or water authority and ask if the lead level in your area is below the EPA’s action level. If the levels are higher, ask if those levels are caused by lead in street pipes connected to your house. If so, contact your city authority to have those pipes replaced. If the pipes are in your home, you have the responsibility to replace those pipes.
The CDC offers guidelines on how to limit your exposure to lead in water in your home until you can have the plumbing repaired. Visit the CDC website for full details, but in general, you have to run all your faucets, including your shower on cold for at least five minutes before drinking the water.
The Asheville plumbers from Blue Planet Plumbing offer knowledgeable advice so you can make an informed decision. They recommend the most up-to-date, cost-effective and environmentally conscious plumbing available. Call Blue Planet Plumbing at 828-423-6289 for all your plumbing needs.