How to Remove Lead from Water: 4 Tips for Removing this Hazard

How to Remove Lead from Drinking Water in Your Home 4 Quick and Effective Tips

Are you wondering How to remove lead from water in your home?

Lead is a toxic metal that can cause serious health problems, especially for children. If you have young kids at home or are pregnant, removing lead from your drinking water is an important step in protecting their health. You may also be concerned about the safety of your drinking water if it comes from an old house with pipes containing lead.

There are several treatment options available to protect you from lead contamination – reverse osmosis and activated carbon are the two most commonly used methods. You can install a lead filter that treats your entire house (called a point-of-entry system), just the water that you drink (known as a point-of-use system), or a pitcher filter.

We review all of these technologies and approaches so you can decide the best way to protect your family from the hazards of lead.

Health Risks Associated with Lead

Lead is a serious health hazard and can cause a variety of health problems, especially in children. Lead poisoning is lead that has accumulated in the body to a dangerous level. Symptoms of lead poisoning may not be immediately noticeable and can develop over time. Some common symptoms include:

  • headaches
  • nausea
  • abdominal pain
  • irritability
  • fatigue

Lead exposure can also lead to more serious health issues such as:

  • brain damage and lead poisoning in children
  • increased blood pressure
  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • heart attack risk

In addition to lead exposure from drinking water sources, lead can also be found in products that we use every day like: paint, gasoline, toys or even cosmetics. Anywhere lead is present, it is important to take precautions to avoid exposure.

Check out my comprehensive resource of online sources of information about lead in drinking water.

What Can I do to Protect My Family from Lead Exposure

Fortunately, there are several treatment methods available to remove lead from your drinking water. One of the most common and affordable treatment methods is a lead filter.

There are a number of different lead filters that you can install in your home to help with lead removal treatment. Some popular lead filters include:

  • Water pitcher filters with lead removal capabilities
  • Under the sink water filters with lead removal capabilities
  • Whole house water filters with lead removal capabilities

It is important to find a filter that meets your specific needs and fits your budget. Be sure to read reviews and compare different lead filters before making a purchase.

Test your tap water to see if lead is present

To find out if your drinking water is contaminated with lead, you should test it. There are several options available to you:

  1. Test it yourself using a home test kit
  2. Submit a sample to a certified laboratory
  3. Have a professional test your water
  4. Check with your local water utility (they are required to test it)

If lead is detected in your drinking water, a lead filter is the best way to remove it.

If you don’t have a lead filter, there are some temporary things you can do quickly and for relatively little money.

Quick and effective tips for removing lead from your water supply

There are a few quick and easy tips that you can use to help remove lead from your drinking water. Note that lead filters are not a permanent solution for lead removal from drinking water, but can be used in conjunction with other methods until the source of lead exposure is found and removed.

  • Removing lead from water starts by running your tap on cold to get rid of any lead particles so they do not enter your cup or glass.
  • If you have a filter on your tap, be sure to change the filter regularly as they can become saturated with lead over time.
  • Consider using a lead removal pitcher or filter to remove lead from your drinking water. These filters are designed specifically for lead removal and can be very effective in reducing lead levels.
  • Use bottled water. This is a very short-term solution, but it can be done immediately to protect your family from lead contamination.
  • Check your home for lead pipes. Corrosive water can leach lead from your water supply lines.

Important tip: Boiling water does NOT remove lead.

How to Remove Lead from Water

There are a variety of lead filters available on the market, so it is important to do your research before purchasing one. Many methods have been highlighted in the news recently because people were found to be drinking contaminated water.

Lead filters are available in several styles and can be installed on your drinking water faucet, under the sink or even whole-house lead removal systems are available.

These water systems are easy to use and maintain. If you are not comfortable installing a lead filter yourself, many water filtration companies offer lead filter installation services.

Treatment technologies that remove lead from drinking water include:

  1. Reverse osmosis (RO): The Reverse Osmosis process removes lead from drinking water, protecting you and your family. It can remove up to 99% of this harmful contaminant – this is the best way to remove lead from your water supply!
  2. Distillation: The distillation process is a slow and energy-consuming one, but it can remove lead from drinking water.
  3. Activated carbon: Carbon adsorption is a very effective treatment method for a variety of contaminants, including lead. This type of filter system is simple to use and relatively inexpensive.
Activated carbon filter

Reverse osmosis lead filter system

I recently installed an undersink reverse osmosis filter in my kitchen – it’s amazing. It makes high quality water and is easy to maintain. You may be interested in having one for your home.

Check Pricing on Amazon

Some lead filters are installed on the faucet, while others need to be connected directly under your sink. Whole-house lead removal systems can also clear lead from drinking water and work by replacing some of the pipes in your house with lead free ones.

Water distillation lead removal system

Here is a popular countertop water distillation system. It can produce 4 liters in a batch.

Check Pricing on Amazon

Whole house lead water filter

A whole house filter, also known as a point-of-entry system, is a lead water filter that is installed on the main water line entering your home. This type of lead filter is designed for lead removal lead. They are also effective for other contaminants from all of the water entering your home, including drinking water, showering and washing dishes.

HydroViv Undersink Water Filter for Lead

Hydroviv can design a custom lead filter for your home based on your city’s water quality. Because they use site-specific data, you get cleaner, healthier, better-tasting water, straight from the tap. 

Check Pricing on Hydroviv

A whole house lead filter is a good choice if you are concerned about lead exposure from all sources in your home, not just drinking water. They are also a good choice if you have young children or pregnant women in your household, as they can help reduce lead levels in all of the water entering your home.

Whole house lead filters typically cost more than other types of lead filters, but they offer the most protection and convenience.

Under sink lead filterUnder sink reverse osmosis filter

An under sink lead filter, also known as a point-of-use system, is lead filter that is installed under your sink and connects directly to the lead pipe coming from your water meter. It does not provide protection for all of the water entering your home, but it can be a good option if you only drink water from your sink or want a quick solution while testing for lead levels.

These types of filters are typically less expensive than whole house lead filters and are easy to install. They also typically require less maintenance than other types of lead filters.

Under sink lead filters should not be used as a permanent solution for lead removal, but they can be helpful in the short-term.

Lead water filter pitchersBritia pitcher filter

A lead water filter pitcher is a small, portable lead filter that can be used to remove lead from drinking water. These pitchers typically hold between two and six cups of water and have a built-in filter that needs to be replaced every few months.

A lead filter pitcher is a great option if you are looking for an affordable treatment method that can provide temporary protection against lead exposure in drinking water. They do not remove lead from all of the water entering your home, but they can be helpful in reducing lead levels from your drinking water.

Lead filter pitchers are typically less expensive than other types of lead filters and are easy to use. They also typically require less maintenance than other types of lead filters.

This approach is the fastest and lowest cost option for many people who have lead in their drinking water.

Test Your Drinking Water for Lead

Lead Drinking Water Test Kit
Tap Score has a simple to use test kit to measure lead and copper in your drinking water.

Tap Score has a home test kit for lead in drinking water. The package includes materials, instructions, and glassware needed to properly collect and submit a sample for certified laboratory testing. You’ll receive a report that provides a detailed analysis of lead and copper by EPA method 200.8 (or equivalent). This is an easy and affordable way to test your water for lead if you’re concerned about possible contamination.

Knowing what’s in your water is the first step to keeping your family safe.

Order your Tap Score Lead test kit today

Water Filter Maintenance

All lead water filters require periodic maintenance to remain effective.

Regular lead water filter maintenance will extend the life of your lead filters and ensure that they continue to remove lead from drinking water.

Good lead water filter maintenance includes:

  • Replacing a lead cartridge or sediment pre-filter every three months (or as recommended by the manufacturer)
  • Cleaning a faucet mounted lead filer twice per year with a lead filter cleaner
  • Cleaning a lead water pitcher every two months with soap and warm water

All lead filters require regular maintenance to remain effective, but under sink lead filters may need more frequent attention than other types of lead filters. If your home has had recent plumbing work or you have low lead levels in your drinking water, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for lead filter replacement and maintenance.

If you are unsure how to properly maintain your lead water filter, consult the manufacturer’s instructions or contact a qualified professional.

Removing lead from drinking water can be an important step in protecting your family from harmful exposure to this toxic metal.

Top Benefits of Lead Treatment Systems

Lead treatment system offer many benefits to you and your family. These include:

  1. Protecting your family from lead exposure
  2. Improving the taste of drinking water
  3. Providing peace-of-mind knowing that you are removing lead from drinking water in your home
  4. Reducing lead levels in all sources of drinking water entering your home, including tap and bottled or filtered water

Removing lead is an important step in protecting your family from lead exposure.

Certification – The Best Way to Know if Your Filter Works

It is important that any water treatment device you choose meets National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) standards. The applicable standard for lead removal systems is NSF Standard 53

NSF certifies a wide variety of lead treatment devices, including the following:

  1. Water Pitchers with Filters
  2. Faucet Filters
  3. Under-Sink Filters
  4. Reverse Osmosis Filters
  5. Counter-Top (Manual-Fill) Filters
  6. Counter-Top Filters Connected to a Sink Faucet
  7. Refrigerator Filters
  8. Aftermarket Refrigerator Filters
  9. Integrated Refrigerator Filters

NSF has a database of all devices that it has certified.

Pitcher Filters and Lead Removal

Many people buy pitcher filters to remove lead from their drinking water. How effective are these filters at purifying your water?

Check out my comprehensive guide on removing lead from drinking water with pitcher filters.

How do pitcher filters remove lead from water?

Pitcher filters work by using a combination of activated carbon and ion exchange materials to remove contaminants, including lead, from tap water. As water flows through the filter, contaminants are trapped and absorbed by the filter media, resulting in cleaner and safer drinking water.

NSF certification for lead removal

NSF certification plays a crucial role in determining the effectiveness of pitcher filters in lead removal. Filters that meet NSF/ANSI Standard 53 have been independently tested and verified to effectively reduce lead levels in water.

When choosing a pitcher filter for lead removal, look for this certification to ensure its reliability and performance.

Can pitcher filters remove 100% of lead?

It’s important to note that no pitcher filter can guarantee the removal of 100% of lead from water. However, certified filters can significantly reduce lead levels, making the water safer for consumption.

To maintain optimal performance, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for filter replacement and maintenance. Regularly changing the filter ensures that it continues to effectively reduce lead and other contaminants in your drinking water.

Pitcher filter brands and lead removal

Frequently Asked Questions about Lead Treatment

Do water softeners remove lead?

A water softener will not eliminate lead contamination from your drinking water. It only reduces hardness by removing things like calcium, magnesium, or iron. There are permanent solutions to remove lead from water – replacing all outdated pipes containing lead or installing a lead filter would work.

Does my refrigerator filter remove lead?

Many refrigerator filters do not remove lead. They are only designed to remove chlorine and taste from the water. However, some refrigerator filters are able to remove lead from drinking water.

Does boiling water remove lead from drinking water?

Boiling water does NOT remove lead. In fact, it can increase the lead concentration due to evaporation during boiling. If water lead contamination is a concern, look for a NSF certified filter.

My Take on Lead Treatment for Drinking Water

Lead is a toxic metal that can cause serious health problems, especially for children. It’s important to know how to remove lead from drinking water so you can protect yourself and your family.

Reverse osmosis or distillation are the best ways for removing lead from water. These methods can drop lead concentrations to below detection limits.

We reviewed the available treatment technologies for lead removal and purifying your drinking water. You can select from Point-of Entry systems, Point-of-Use devices or filters that treat your potable water.

Boch Richard

Richard Boch is a chemical engineer responsible for designing water filtration systems for industrial and residential customers. He has more than 20 years of experience with ion exchange, activated carbon, and reverse osmosis. Richard's expertise has made him a go-to source for municipalities and businesses looking to improve their water quality. When he's not working, Richard enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children. You can also follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

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