Lead enters drinking water when it comes in contact with individual homes that have lead service lines or internal plumbing made with lead.
The more time water has been sitting in your home’s pipes, the more lead it may contain. Therefore, if your water has not been used for several hours, run the water before using it for drinking or cooking. This flushes lead-containing water from the pipes. More information here.
Additional flushing may be required for homes that have been vacant or have a longer service line.
- If you do not have a lead service line, run the water for 30 seconds to two minutes, or until it becomes cold or reaches a steady temperature.
- If you do have a lead service line, run the water for at least five minutes
to flush water from your home of building’s plumbing and the lead service line.
Everyone can consider using a filter to reduce lead in drinking water. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommends that any household with a child or pregnant woman use cold water and a certified lead filter to remove lead from their drinking water, especially when preparing baby formula. More information here.
- Look for filters that are tested and certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 53 for lead reduction.
- For filters to work properly, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- If your household has a child or pregnant woman and are not able to afford the cost of a lead filter, please contact your County Health Department.
- Do not use hot water for drinking, preparing food, or cooking, or preparing baby formula.
- Do not boil your water as boiling will not reduce the amount of lead in water.
- Clean your faucet aerator to remove trapped debris. More information here.
- Get your child tested. Call 231-723-3595 or your family doctor.
- Get your drinking water tested. Call 231-723-7132 for a list of certified laboratories.
Check if you have a lead service line or plumbing or fixtures that contain lead. Call 231-723-7132 for more information. More information here.