LISLE, Ill. (March 2, 2022) – More than 180,000 New Jersey households are currently facing the news that their homes are being served by lead services lines that will ultimately need to be replaced. The Water Quality Association offers support and resources that can help consumers understand issues associated with lead contamination and methods of home water treatment.
WQA offers easy-to-understand information on lead – including a video, “Five Things to Know About Lead” – on its consumer website, Better Water Today. Consumers also can access Frequently Asked Questions about lead or download a technical fact sheet through the association’s website, wqa.org.
WQA also offers the expertise and guidance of its technical staff and water treatment providers.
A reported 186,830 households – about 6% of New Jersey’s total – received certified letters from their local water departments recently in response to a new state law that requires community water systems to inventory lead service lines and replace them all within 10 years. The water companies are responsible for determining how to pay the costs of replacing the pipes from the main to the residence.
New Jersey officials point out that just because a home’s pipes have been associated with lead does not mean that lead has leached into that home’s water. However, drinking water that meets federal guidelines for safety when it leaves a municipal treatment facility travels through miles of service lines on its way to homes, and lead can leach from lead service lines and connections, from lead solder used in copper piping, and from brass fixtures and fittings.
WQA recommends homeowners served by lead lines have their water tested at the point of use to determine if leaching has occurred. A local water treatment expert can perform the testing and recommend products that can improve a home’s drinking water quality.
Lead poisoning often shows no symptoms; however, signs such as irritability, weight loss, vomiting, constipation, or stomach pain could occur. Young children and pregnant women are at the greatest risk, even from short-term exposure. Scientists agree there is no safe level of lead in drinking water.
Home water treatment products are considered the preferred method for lead reduction in cases where lead is found in the home’s supply. However, products, devices, and systems currently on the market may differ widely in their effectiveness in treating specific contaminants, and performance may vary from application to application. Selection of a particular device or system for health contaminant reduction such as lead should be made only after verifying that the product has been independently tested and certified for the specific contaminant to be reduced, the specific application proposed and the amount of contaminant reduction that is required.