What can I do if I have a lead connection or plumbing?
Cleveland Water utilizes orthophosphate in our treatment process, and our test results submitted to the Ohio EPA indicate it is very successful in protecting customers from risks associated with lead found in cityside connections, property owners' portion of the service connection, and in-home plumbing.
However, if your home has a lead service connection or home plumbing that contains lead, here are some things you can do to even further reduce the possibility of lead in your drinking water.
♦ Before using water for drinking or cooking, turn on the cold tap and let it run for 1 to 2 minutes, particularly if the water has been off and sitting in the pipes in your home for more than 6 hours. You’ll know the water is fresh when the temperature becomes noticeably cooler to the touch.
♦ Note that boiling will not reduce the amount of lead in your water, and can, in fact, concentrate it.
♦ Avoid drinking or cooking with water from the hot water tap. Always use cold water for cooking, drinking and making baby formula. If you want to heat water for these purposes, always heat cold water in a bottle warmer, in the microwave or on the stove.
♦ Periodically clean the aerator on faucets you use for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth, or other potable uses. The aerator is the wire screened portion of a faucet where the water comes out. These can be unscrewed from the faucet and taken apart for easy cleaning. Lead containing particles, if present, can get stuck on this wire screen and erode into the water.
♦ If you are concerned and would like extra protection, purchase a point-of-use treatment device certified to remove lead, and make sure it is properly maintained. The device should be certified for potable water use by one of several certifying organizations such as the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), Underwriters Laboratory (UL), or Water Quality Association (WQA).
The Ohio EPA maintains a list of certified laboratories that can test for lead and many other potential contaminants at http://www.epa.ohio.gov/Portals/28/documents/labcert/Chemical%20and%20Microbiological%20Labs.pdf