LeadSmart™ - More than just Leak Protection
The first of its kind, the ePIPE LeadSmart Program is a comprehensive solution for identifying, testing and resolving lead leaching into drinking water.
The LeadSmart approach focuses on the 4L’s: Learning about Lead, Lead Identification &Testing, Legislation and Landlord & Seller Liability.
Learning about Lead
Lead contamination in water has become a global concern. Although lead pipes are the most common source, non-lead pipes can still leach lead into the water supply. Lead contributors, such as lead based solder or brass fittings can also cause lead leaching.
Growing health and environmental concerns regarding lead poisoning and lead in drinking water have caused worldwide governments to tighten their standards for the allowable level of lead in drinking water.
Lead is a cumulative poison. Many public health organizations and governments have done extensive research on the effects of lead in drinking water and have concluded that even in small amounts, exposure to lead can be detrimental to human health, with the greatest effect being in children. Infants and children exposed to lead may experience delays in physical and mental development and may show deficits in attention span and learning disabilities. In adults, lead exposure can cause kidney problems and high blood pressure
It is estimated that some 38 million properties in the US are affected by lead in piping systems.
Lead Identification & Testing
The age of a home generally can affect the level of lead in drinking water.
Properties built before 1950, depending on location, could be receiving water through a lead service line.
Identifying lead pipes
- Ask the water utility about the type of water supply pipe used to deliver water to that property.
- Look for the pipe where it enters the building, you can scratch the pipe with a key or a coin, if the pipe scratches easily and is a dull gray, it is likely made of lead. If it is gray and hard to scratch, it probably indicates a galvanized steel pipe or if the pipe is the color of a penny, then it is likely a copper pipe.
- If you think the pipe is made of lead, you can try a fridge magnet on the pipe. Clean an area of the pipe and try to attach the magnet. A magnet will not stick to lead.
Homes built in the 1950s to the mid-1990s may also be exposed to lead leaching from lead contributors like leaded solder used to join copper pipes and the use of brass valves and faucets.
Testing for Lead in your Water
If you discover lead pipes or lead contributors in your piping system, contact a LeadSmart Certified Installer for testing alternatives.
Once the water sampling is complete, if you have elevated lead levels in your water, your LeadSmart installer can provide you with corrective options.
The current US EPA action level for lead is 15ppb, which is fifty percent higher than The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended cutoff level of 10ppb. Some countries like Canada, have reduced cut off levels to 5ppb. The EPA, along with several individual states, have recently created pending legislation to bring the US action level down to 10ppb. In the US, ePIPE is providing input to research facilities and engineers working in conjunction with proposed changes to the EPA’s Lead and Copper Rule.
Testing for lead at schools is mandatory in the state of New York, and is currently pending legislation in many other states. In 2016, LeadSmart Certified Installers completed works on over 40 school buildings in the US that were leaching lead and copper into water, reducing the lead levels in the drinking water to below the EPA cutoff levels, making them LeadSmart compliant.
Landlord & Seller Liability
Until now, widespread requirements for disclosing lead in a piping system, testing and disclosure of the water quality for the property you are managing, selling or renting has not been required. Some States and regions are beginning to push for legislation that would require mandatory water testing and disclosure of lead and copper testing results prior to the sale or rental of a building.
ePIPE is actively working with the Real Estate industry, urging them to require testing and disclosure of lead and copper in the drinking water prior to the sale or rental of any dwelling.
What can you do?
Think there is lead in your water?
Get your property LeadSmart Certified. Contact your local LeadSmart Certified Installer to learn more about identification, testing and how ePIPE can reduce lead leaching to well below the WHO and EPA standards.
Are you a landlord, HOA manager, or seller?
Learn more about current/possible future regulations regarding landlord and seller liability in regards to lead disclosure, and what you can do to protect your tenants and/or future buyers by calling our World Headquarters at 888-775-0220.
Want to become part of the solution?
Become a LeadSmart Certified Technician. Training and certification programs are available. Click here or contact us at 888-775-0220.