In developed countries we sometimes take clean drinking water for granted. However, as recent events in Flint, MI and Sebring, OH, have shown, our water may not be as clean as we think. Lead contamination is still a huge problem, and federal regulations are falling short. Here are some things you should know.

The risk of lead

According to NSF International, lead is a toxic metal that can cause severe illness, neurological problems and developmental delays in children. Even if your local water supply has passed a federal safety test, it may still contain dangerous levels of lead contamination. Dr. Yanna Lambrinidou, a civil and environmental engineer who helped discover that Flint’s water was dangerous, observed that federal regulations only require 90 percent of homes to have 15 parts per billion (ppb) of lead or less in their water. This means that 10 percent of homes are effectively unregulated, and those that are regulated can still contain up to 15 ppb.

Though lead plumbing is no longer used in modern buildings, older homes may have lead pipes. A newer home may still be at risk for lead contamination if your town or city has old service lines containing lead. Call your local water department to find the records on the plumbing in your area, or to ask for an inspection of the service lines.

“A newer home may still be at risk for lead contamination...”

Protect yourself

The best thing you can do to protect your family from lead is install an NSF certified drinking water system. While it’s important to consider various methods — filtration vs. reverse osmosis, faucet vs. full-home installation — the most important thing is to make sure you choose a solution that specifically reduces lead.

Pentair’s Everpure premium drinking water systems, for example, offer a range of solutions that are all certified by NSF International to reduce lead in drinking water. Visit  Everpure’s website and select “Find a Showroom” to work with a local Everpure expert to help your family enjoy clean, filtered water at home.