Denver Water will even give you a free test.
The city of Denver was founded in 1858, meaning there are a lot of homes that were built before 1988. And while some of you may be thinking, “I thought we stopped using lead pipes in the ’50s or even the ’20s,” many plumbing solders and fittings contained lead well into the ’80s. That’s why it’s important to check your home’s water lead levels, even if you have a relatively modern home.
To do this, you can request a free test kit from the city of Denver here, and if you’re not technically in the city of Denver, you can generally buy one for less than $20 at your local hardware store. Denver Water, however, usually earns high marks for providing the city’s 682,545 residents with clean, crisp, Rocky Mountain runoff. But the issues arise when the water reaches your home. According to Denver Water, homes built before 1951 are more likely to contain lead main lines (the pipe that connects your home to the city’s line), and homes built before 1988 (while they don’t use lead pipes) still have lead-soldered joints.
So why is it important to check for lead in your water? Well, according to the Centers for Disease Control, lead exposure can affect every organ in your body, including your brain, leading to a variety of negative health effects. In children, adverse effects can occur at much lower exposure levels and can cause damage, including learning disabilities, that will affect them the rest of their lives. You can read all about it in the CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease here, but if you choose not to, just know “there is no identified threshold or safe level of lead in blood.”
So what do you do if you find lead in your water? Well, in a pinch, you can purchase bottled water, or some filtration systems actually reduce the amount of lead in the water. Be sure to read the box closely and do your research, but really, you need a licensed plumber to come solve the problem as soon as you can. Investing in protecting you and your family now is well worth ensuring a lead-free future.