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lead in water

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Dec 19, 2013, 01:20 PM
eggs32000
lead in water
My son rents property in a community in the country in Texas. He recently received a notification that the lead levels were abnormally high in his water. The landlord contends that "all plumbing has lead", "if water sits in the pipes for 16 hours or more lead will leach from the plumbing into the water", and that "if residents do not use their water within 16+ hours, they need to flush the pipes for 10-15 minutes to remove any lead that may have leached from the dormant plumbing". Does this make sense?
Dec 19, 2013, 03:49 PM
Jaybee
It is true that if your pipes have lead in them (like older copper joints) then the lead content will be higher if the water has been sitting in pipes without any flow. Flushing the pipes will remove the higher concentrations of lead, but not the lead itself - it will still be there and will still be in the water.

Not all plumbing contains lead - in fact, it's been years since you could use anything with lead in your pipes. I am not sure of the landlords liability as to if it's OK to grandfather in his old plumbing for a rental. That's something to check out at the local level.


Jaybee
Dec 19, 2013, 04:07 PM
eggs32000
The housing that he lives in was only built within the last five years or so. Would it have lead in it?
Dec 19, 2013, 06:22 PM
GardenSprite
Who advised your son that there is lead in the water? Was it his local community's water authority?

The city in which I live has notified residents that there might be lead in the pipes, and advised that we run off cold water before using it. I don't recall exactly how long the run-off should be. I fill a pan with the "first of the morning" and "first after I get home" water, boil it, and pour it down the kitchen drain to help keep it clear (my plumber told me to run hot water down the drain about 5 minutes every week. I just do it daily.)

With the house being only 5 years old, I think there's something else going on that would cause a high lead level, but I wouldn't have much of an idea what it is.

Have other residents in the community been notified of high lead levels as well?
Dec 19, 2013, 06:31 PM
eggs32000
He was notified by the local water authority. All of the residents were notified.
Dec 19, 2013, 06:36 PM
GardenSprite
Is your son in an agricultural area?
Dec 19, 2013, 06:37 PM
Frodo
get a specium bottle from pharmacy,,,fill with water from tap..seal the jar and take to the health department ask for it to be analised.[sp] its about $5.00 per sample here



bring him back!!!

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Frodo,


Dec 19, 2013, 06:58 PM
eggs32000
He is in the country. No crops growing nearby...just empty fields.
Dec 19, 2013, 07:21 PM
GardenSprite
I was thinking that perhaps pesticides had been used (including sprayed) if the area was farmland, but apparently that's not the issue currently, although the land could have been farmed in the past.

I do wonder if the soil would test high in lead as well.

Have you done any checking to see if the area is in or close to a hazardous waste zone? I was remembering some real estate projects on which I worked that eventually were aborted because of hazardous waste contamination, especially from leaking gas tanks at gas stations that had been closed.

Here's one place to start: Google hits on hazardous waste sites for Texas.

https://www.google.com/#q=texa...e+sites%2C+by+county

And here's a site listing lead contaminated areas in Texas:

http://www.tceq.texas.gov/agency/cleanups.html. Be sure to check the second link, the Superfund sites.

And some more information on Brownfields (contaminated sites): http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/env...nsupport/brownfield/.

Be sure to check the map to see if your son's areas is included.

Here's a list of counties in which brownfields are located:

http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/env...nsupport/VCPlist.php

Hope this helps.
Dec 19, 2013, 07:27 PM
Jaybee
If it's five years old than highly unlikely that the plumbing is the source of the lead. The flush every 16 hours or more is total BS.


Jaybee
Dec 19, 2013, 09:37 PM
GardenSprite
quote:
Originally posted by Jaybee:
The flush every 16 hours or more is total BS.


Jaybee, is it the 16 hours or flushing concept that's BS? I'm wondering if the run-off I do every morning is also a waste of time. It was my understanding that lead tended to accumulate when the water wasn't run for several hours.
Dec 19, 2013, 10:03 PM
Jaybee
quote:
Originally posted by GardenSprite:
quote:
Originally posted by Jaybee:
The flush every 16 hours or more is total BS.


Jaybee, is it the 16 hours or flushing concept that's BS? I'm wondering if the run-off I do every morning is also a waste of time. It was my understanding that lead tended to accumulate when the water wasn't run for several hours.


IF the source of the lead is within the plumbing, then flushing out the system can make sense. Water sits in the pipes, lead leaches into the water and the next time you use water it has a higher concentration of lead in it. 16 hours is an arbitrary number as the longer the water sits still the greater chance it will have to get contaminated by lead in the pipes.

However, IF the lead is coming from outside the house, then the same ratio of lead to water will be there no matter if the water is still and sits for a while or if it's running. As the house is less than 5 years old, there should not be any lead materials used in the house plumbing. Since the local water authority has notified everyone in the area, is seems that the source of the lead is outside the home.

So the 16 hour timeline is definitely BS and since the source appears to be outside the home, the flushing concept is too.


Jaybee
Dec 19, 2013, 11:44 PM
GardenSprite
Jaybee, this makes sense. Thanks for the explanation.
Dec 20, 2013, 07:36 AM
CommonwealthSparky
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Frodo:
get a specium bottle from pharmacy,,,fill with water from tap..seal the jar and take to the health department ask for it to be analised.[sp] its about $5.00 per sample here



bring him back!!![/QUOTE



Received a kick out of the picture of the DD dude. I don watch the show but two of the guys appear on Last Man Standing, and that we watch. Sad how if you speak your mind you become an outcast with the liberals. Those narrow minded folks are as bad as the right. Kind of like Mad Magazine's Spy vrs Spy.

Our local water supplier at one time had to run ads speaking of lead present in distribution lines. As in lead soldered joints leaching poison into the system. Seems like they no longer run those, mainly because they possess a valley of thousands of acres and natural artesian wells.

Lead was basically removed from paint in 1986[?] or so but was that the same for lead solder?


Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
Dec 20, 2013, 09:38 AM
Frodo
no lead in any plumbing pipe or materials
sence '86.
all solider is lead free...
it aint lead,,,
take a sample to health dept and find out what it is.
Dec 20, 2013, 11:21 AM
GardenSprite
Moving on to the next step of avoiding lead contaminated water, what options does the OP's son have at this point, until the source is located and remediations are in place?

Would something like a Brita water filter remove the lead? Bottled water has issues as well if it's in plastic bottles, some of which have carcinogens.
Dec 20, 2013, 11:28 AM
Frodo
in my opinion, i would do nothing. while i waited on the lab report
find out what it is, then, go from there
get the correct filter for whatever it is you find..
Dec 20, 2013, 05:57 PM
swschrad
lead feedline pipes used to be used. lead solder used to be used, and it's been illegal to use your old solder for years (although it's still there in the home center aisles, folks, check the labels.)

soft water may be able to leach lead from "yellow brass" fittings, as well as from old joints. hard water covers it up.

your city or water utility's website is mandated by Federal law to put up annually an analysis of their water, which is generally taken from a sample tap in the water plant. find and print that analysis if you tossed yours away with the water bill.

get your water tested, and save that analysis.

take a needle-nose pliers to the no-tamper square shaft on an outside garden tap, collect a sample there, and test that. it's as close to an "point of entry" sampling point as you will usually be able to reach in a multi-tenant building. save the results.

a new building should not show lead above the "caution" level the EPA uses. if all those tests show higher levels, call the state health department to take a whacking stick to the water plant operators. they can't do that.

if the outside tap and the inside tap show higher levels, the state health department can bring that little persuader to the building owner.

if your tap is below levels, obviously, there is a scare monster running loose who needs to spend some time in the break room until they calm down.


sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Dec 20, 2013, 08:15 PM
CommonwealthSparky
quote:
Originally posted by Frodo:
no lead in any plumbing pipe or materials
sence '86.
all solider is lead free...
it aint lead,,,
take a sample to health dept and find out what it is.



And as I recall solder WITH lead was an easier product to work with.


Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
Dec 20, 2013, 08:17 PM
CommonwealthSparky
quote:
Originally posted by Frodo:
quote:
Originally posted by eggs32000:
He was notified by the local water authority. All of the residents were notified.


wait a minute...dont go another futher
you said..ALL the residents were notified?
if that statement is true, and your sons home is a single family dwelling. the problem is not his plumbing or his house..its the water authoritys problem..
your sons home water will not effect all the other homes water/lead levels...that would have to come from the source
sounds like they have some old pipes in there system?????
MAYBE..till you get the water tested,,you dont know

dont count on the landlord, thru his statememnt of all pipes have lead, flush the pipes bullchit.he's is telling you, .he will do nothing



I think you hit the nail on the head with this reply.


Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...