How does lead enter the drinking water?

The most common way that lead enters drinking water is through the corrosion of lead or galvanized iron plumbing. Across the country, lead and galvanized iron was a common material used for plumbing in many older homes. In a large percentage of these older homes, lead plumbing can be found in the service line, either in the utility portion of the service line from the main to the curb-stop or in the customer portion of the service line from the curb stop to the interior piping. However, lead can also be found beyond the service line in the interior house piping, lead solder, and brass or chrome-plated brass faucets. Though galvanized steel and copper became more popular as plumbing pipe materials in the 1960s, lead piping and solder was not federally banned until 1986 and faucets could contain up to 8% lead until 1996.

Show All Answers

1. How does lead enter the drinking water?
2. Why did Environmental protection Agency sample drinking water in some homes in East Chicago?
3. Who owns the service lines that carry drinking water from the water main to my home?
4. What did the sampling results show?
5. How long should zone 2 and 3 residents who participated in the pilot use the water filter provided by Environmental Protection Agency?
6. I live in East Chicago but wasn’t part of the pilot study. I’m concerned about lead in my drinking water - what should I do?
7. Is the City of East Chicago in compliance with applicable drinking water standards for lead?
8. Why are there high lead levels if the City of East Chicago is in compliance with the Lead and Copper Rule?
9. Did the Environmental Protection Agency test for other metals?
10. Can water contaminated with lead hurt me or my children?
11. Is it safe for adults to shower or bathe with the water? Can babies be bathed in tap water?
12. Is it safe to wash dishes and do laundry with unfiltered water?
13. The Environmental Protection Agency provided a filter after excavation, but how do I know the filter is working?
14. Will whole house filters or reverse-osmosis filters work better?
15. How can I get my home’s drinking water tested for lead?
16. How can I check my home’s water pipes for lead?
17. Is this related to the USS Lead Superfund Site near my home?