The fact that problems involving city (municipal) water testing high for lead will continue to pop up from time to time… but that does NOT mean we ought to ignore them because we keep hearing about them. In fact, we believe it means people ought to pay MORE attention to news about lead in water — and test their water periodically for lead.
Keep in mind, though, that in our experience most instances of elevated lead levels in city/municipal water resulted from the water coming in contact with lead after it left the municipal water treatment facility. Miles and miles of piping that may have sat in the ground for the past 50 years could very well contain metal components that contain lead.
As matter of fact, for a long time the solder used to join copper water lines contained lead and in places like Ancient Rome, you could find lead in water lines as commonly as you would sand at the beach.
BANGOR, Maine — The public water system that serves some 50,000 Bangor-area residents has tested high in lead for the first time since routine testing began in 1992. The health threat is not great, according to Kathy Moriarty, general manager of the Bangor Water District, and local and state health officials agree.
“I think there is really a pretty minimal public health threat,” said Patty Hamilton, director of public health for the city of Bangor. “We really don’t want to be alarmist about this.”
But with levels exceeding the acceptable level of lead in drinking water established by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the water district must now conduct a broad-based public awareness campaign in the seven communities it serves, review its water-treatment processes, and implement a ramped-up testing schedule.
Moriarty said the EPA standard represents an “action level” — a red flag for the water system to review their process — and does not in itself indicate a danger to public health.
Exposure to lead can cause lowered intelligence, neurological problems, and brain and kidney dysfunction in adults and children. Pregnant women, infants and young children are at the greatest risk. ( source )
Please don’t let this article scare you into buying the biggest and baddest reverse osmosis or distillation water system you can find. In most cases city municipal water will not contain dangerous quantities of lead or other heavy metals… but it never hurts to check (test your water!) every once in a while.