If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. Rainbow is responsible for providing high-quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to two minutes before using water for drinking or cooking. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested. Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline or on the Environmental Protection Agency website.
There is no detectable lead in any of Rainbow's sources. Lead seldom occurs naturally in water supplies.
Rainbow has not used lead mains or service lines. We are inventorying service connections to ensure no lead connectors were used where the public and private systems joined. If a lead connector is found it will be removed and replaced with new, lead-free piping material.
Rainbow has installed highly effective treatment processes that reduce the amount of lead leached from water that sits in private plumbing systems and pipe solder.
How can I reduce my exposure to lead in drinking water?
There can be lead in private water system plumbing. When water stands for several hours in plumbing systems that contain lead, the lead may dissolve into your drinking water. If your home was built before 1986, it may have copper pipes with lead solder. In addition, any faucet purchased before 1997 may be constructed of brass containing up to 8% lead. More recent federal legislation has mandated, as of January 4, 2014, that all pipe, fittings, and fixtures may contain no more than 0.25% lead.
- Run your water to flush out lead.
Before using water for drinking or cooking, run the water for 30 seconds to 2 minutes or until it becomes colder from the tap, especially if the water has not been used for many hours. This flushes water that may contain lead from the pipes.
- Use cold, fresh water for cooking, drinking, and preparing baby formula.
Do not cook with or drink water from the hot water tap; lead dissolves more easily into hot water. Do not use water from the hot water tap to make baby formula.
- Regularly clean your faucet aerator.
Particles containing lead from solder or household plumbing can become trapped in your faucet aerator. Regularly cleaning every few months will remove these particles and reduce your exposure to lead.
- Consider buying low-lead faucets.
As of January 2014, all pipes, fittings, and fixtures are required to contain less than 0.25% lead, which is termed “lead-free”.
- Consider investing in a filter.
Before you buy, confirm that the filter reduces lead – not all filters do. Remember that bacteria and other contaminants can collect in filters if not properly maintained, making water quality worse, not better.