Why Your Home’s Lead Pipes Must Be Replaced

Lead has been used in various construction projects throughout history due to its stable yet pliable nature. Among these ventures, plumbing piping was especially coupled with lead use. There’s just one small problem: lead is extremely poisonous when ingested.

However, this was not fully recognized in the United States until the late 1800s, long after the material was deemed a viable vessel and used extensively to transport drinking water. Finally, in the 1920’s, the U.S. government began encouraging citizens to replace their pipes with alternate materials.

To be safe, any home built before 1950 should be inspected for leads pipes. If you have an older home, ensure your family’s safety by having your piping inspected for lead today.

Water pipe.

Associated Risks

Lead consumption is unavoidable; we take in minute amounts of lead through the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink. Although it is inevitable that we take in lead to some extent, it is essential that we minimize exposure as much as possible. Lead poisoning is a very serious matter and can impact your kidneys and reproductive organs, even decreasing fertility in some cases.

It is especially important that children steer clear of any excess amount of lead. If children are exposed to lead poisoning, it can stunt the development of their nervous systems, as well as increase the likelihood of behavioral changes and learning disabilities. If your home contains lead pipes, your family could be at risk as your drinking water may pick up lead particles as it rushes through your plumbing system.

Call a licensed professional to inspect and replace your piping if you suspect your system may contain lead components.

Something In the Water

The presence of lead plumbing pipes isn’t the only factor that contributes to the risk of lead poisoning; the condition of your drinking water also plays a role. If your drinking water is too acidic, it will corrode your pipes and allow harmful lead to contaminate your drinking water.

Though water treatment facilities try to balance the water chemistry, mistakes can occur. For example, the Flint, Michigan water crisis began when the drinking water source was changed from Lake Huron to the Flint River in order to minimize costs and the water was not properly treated following the adjustment. The result was catastrophic; over 10,000 residents were exposed to excessive amounts of lead that was leached from their pipes.

While the Chicago Department of Water Management works diligently to ensure our drinking water is safe, homes with wells are at risk of contamination from lead pipes, as well water is not actively controlled or regulated. If you’re at all concerned that your water contains lead, have your water tested for impurities.

While the risk of lead poisoning is a scary prospect, J. Blanton is here to help! Our licensed professionals have the knowledge and experience to meet your plumbing needs, and look forward to answering any questions you may have. Make our family part of yours and give us a call at (773)-724-9272 today!