Do aging pipes pose a health risk to you and your family?

In 2014, more than 100,000 Flint, Mich., residents were exposed to contaminated water, after improperly treated water from the Flint River caused aging lead pipes to corrode and leach lead into the water supply. A state of emergency was declared in 2016, rightfully prompting a nation-wide discussion about aging pipes and water safety.

How can lead get into our drinking water?

Aging pipes can be a risk to you as a homeowner, whether you live in an older home or a brand-new home. Exterior service line plumbing runs from the water main into your home, while your interior premise plumbing includes the pipes, joints, solder and faucet fixtures used inside of your home (under sinks, behind toilets, etc.).

Homes built prior to the 1980s are more likely to have lead pipes or parts in their premise plumbing. However, even if you live in a newer home, you’re not necessarily safe from lead exposure. Because most of Indiana’s pipes were installed after World War II and some even as far back as the 1890s, many of them consist of lead or have been soldered together with lead. As these pipes age and decay, particles from the pipes can break off into the water stream and pose serious health risks to Hoosiers — something that has been a topic of discussion in the Indiana State Legislature since the Indiana Finance Authority released this November 2016 report.

What are the health risks associated with lead?

Lead is a neuro-behavioral toxin that can cause learning, behavioral and developmental issues in children. Adults exposed to lead may experience kidney damage, anemia (iron deficiency) and hypertension.

Lower your risk for plumbing-related lead exposure by:

  • Finding out what pipes you have, either by hiring a plumber to do an inspection, looking at your home inspection report or using this helpful tool available through NPR.org.
  • Hiring a plumber to replace plumbing that consists of lead or that shows signs of corrosion, such as discoloration, stains, dimpling and flaking.
  • Using a tap water filter that has been certified by the Public Health and Safety Organization. Just look for an NSF-certified logo on the package.
  • Practicing safety when you return from long trips. Run water out of your faucets for one to two minutes, if it’s been sitting in your pipes for more than six hours and especially if it has not been used for more than one day. This will flush out any accumulated lead or other chemicals.

GET PEACE OF MIND. CONTACT US FOR AN INSPECTION.

If you’re concerned about your risk for lead exposure, it’s worth it to contact Justin Dorsey Plumbing and ask for an inspection. Contact us at (317) 745-4830 or info@justindorseyplumbing.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *