Missoula Residential Plumbing Updates to Prevent Lead in Water

We’ve all seen the headlines, some version of “lead in local water supply” but what does that even mean?  And when does it become dangerous?  Lead exposure can happen through a variety of sources, including lead from paint used before 1978, old playground equipment, contaminated soil, and even your Missoula residential plumbing system. Let’s take a look at lead in the water of Missoula homes. 

Lead in Water Can Have Drastic Effects

Large amounts of lead exposure can cause lead poisoning, while smaller amounts of exposure over time can cause symptoms as well. The Mayo Clinic says that pregnant women and children are the most vulnerable to lead exposure. Lead can cause fertility issues for both men and women and lead exposure for a pregnant woman can cause a number of effects, including premature birth, low birth weight, and even miscarriage. One of the most well-known effects of lead exposure is developmental delays in children. There are a number of others, but the most severe result of lead exposure is death. As you can see, this is not something to be taken lightly. 

Monitor and Limit Lead Exposure in Missoula, Montana

While the Center for Disease Control says that there is no safe amount of lead exposure, having zero lead in water is only a “goal” and not an absolute requirement. This is because lead is a persistent element in the environment and cannot be absolutely avoided. Many municipalities have an “allowed” amount in drinking water. In 2020, the Montana Department of Public Health declared that faucets in schools with 5 parts per billion must be routinely flushed and faucets that test higher than 15 parts per billion must be immediately shut off. That is parts per billion, with a “b.” We’re pretty used to hearing about contaminate rates in parts per million, but lead is so dangerous that it is only tolerated to one-thousandth of what other contaminates are often tolerated.

Lead Exposure Through Missoula Residential Plumbing

The Environmental Protection Agency has documented common sources of lead in residential drinking water. If your home was built before 1986, it could have lead pipes. If you have copper pipes with lead soldering, you could be at risk. Some brass faucets and fixtures can have lead in them. Even if you think all of these pieces of your Missoula residential plumbing system are clear, your lead service line, the connection underground from the city water supply to your home, could be putting lead into your water. When there is lead in any one of these pieces of your plumbing system, lead can be released into your drinking water as corrosion happens. Acidic water can hasten this process, but, over time, corrosion is inevitable, and herein lies the danger.

What Do I Do About the Lead in Water in My Missoula Residence?

Sometimes, flushing out your pipes every time you are going to use water. By letting it run for a few minutes and only using cold water, you can limit or even prevent exposure. This is not a permanent fix. If you suspect there is lead in your water, you should have your water tested.  The only sure way to get rid of this problem is to have the pieces containing lead replaced and any pipes through which lead may have flowed beyond the source.

Missoula Residential Plumbing Services

If you are ready to have your plumbing system updated and made safe, give Garden City Plumbing and Heating a call. With knowledge and experience, our professional services will make you feel safe in your home again!