Before the 1950s, a lead pipe was mostly used for installation purpose for all plumbing requirements. Studies have shown that these may be a cause of serious health problems. The lead content in water coming to your home can be dangerous- more so if there are pregnant women and infants in the house.
If your house was built after the mid 1950s, chances are that you do not have any old lead pipe installed. However, even after the 1950s, lead was used to solder pipes. Pipes manufactured using other stronger materials were used up to 1980s. Old plumbing apparatus like taps also used lead. Whatever may be the case with your piping system, it is better to get the whole system checked by a licensed plumber.
Lead present in pipes gets released when water passes through them. This water, if used for drinking purposes, poses high risk of many diseases. Meningitis is the most common disease caused by lead consumption. Large apartments and condominiums require stronger pipes. This is because the water needs to be pumped to upper floors. Thus, lead pipes are not used in apartments or condominiums. So if you live in one, you do not have to worry about the pipe condition.
The authorities of the City of Toronto have stated that they would replace lead pipe in the portion they own. This means that the area near your front yard would soon be lead pipe free. It is your duty to replace the remaining pipes starting from your front yard. Get in touch with the authorities in your area to know more about pipe replacement in your area. In case your house was built before the 1950s, let the authorities know. Replacements are arranged for such homes on priority basis.
If your lead pipes have not yet been replaced, ensure that you use a filter. This filter must be NSF-053 certified. To know more about such filters, contact any certified and experienced plumber. Local rookies do not have proper information about such filters. They might fool you into buying a costlier yet uncertified filter.
There is no way that you can, by yourself, find out if the water is lead contaminated. Always call a licensed plumber to check it out. Once the pipes have been replaced, ensure that you pump out all the water at least once. This way, no contaminated water would remain in the pipes. In case you have any doubts, consult a licensed plumber. Do not put your family’s health in the hands of uncertified plumbers.