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Dissolved lead in your drinking water is a reality 

In Australia, the presence of dissolved lead in our drinking water isn’t just a tale from a far-off land; it’s a stark reality we face right here. Lead, a metal we’ve long used in a myriad of plumbing products nestled within the walls of our homes and buildings, lurks unseen. The usual suspects? Brass fittings and taps are found in most kitchens and bathroom.

It’s a peculiar thing about some brass plumbing fittings; they’ve got a bit of a nefarious side. Leave your water sitting in those pipes for too long, especially in the hot water system, and lead decides it’s time to take a swim. This unwanted guest is far more likely to drop by your tap water when it’s been heated up to around 70 degrees. Why? Because heating the water isn’t just about getting it hot. It increases the levels of all dissolved metals, with lead being one of the most unwelcome.

This little factoid brings us to a golden rule for Aussie households: always, and I mean always, opt for cold water when you’re filling up for a drink or cooking. It’s a simple step that can make a big difference in keeping lead out of your diet.

And for those of you collecting rainwater in rainwater tanks, there’s another wrinkle to consider. The increased acidity in rainwater isn’t just tough on your gutters; it also plays a role in leaching more of those dissolved metals and lead from your brass plumbing fittings.

So, what’s the takeaway? It’s about being aware and taking those small but significant steps to protect your health and that of your family. Keep an eye on your water use, and let’s keep our water safe and lead-free.

3 simple steps to reduce exposure to lead in water

Practical Steps to Minimise Lead Exposure in Your Home’s Drinking Water

In our sunburnt country, the notion of lead piping as a common conduit for our drinking water is almost a non-issue – a nod to the proactive steps taken many years ago in Australian home and building construction standards. Consequently, it’s a rare occurrence for Aussies to find themselves grappling with elevated blood lead levels due to their drinking water.

However, complacency has never been our style, especially when it comes to safeguarding our health and that of our families. Here are some straightforward, no-nonsense strategies to keep the spectre of lead in your drinking water at bay:

  • Cold Tap Wisdom: Make it a steadfast rule in your household to use only water from the cold tap for drinking and cooking. It’s a simple yet effective first line of defence against lead.

  • Morning Rituals: Kick off your day with a good deed for your health. Flush the cold water taps destined for drinking and cooking for about 30 seconds every morning. This practice ensures that the water you’re using is fresh, having not stagnated in the pipes overnight.

  • Coming Home to Freshness: If your home has been left unoccupied for a while, a thorough welcome home for your plumbing is in order. Give all cold water taps a good three-minute flush to bid farewell to any dissolved metals that have taken up residence in your absence. This tip is particularly handy for those returning from a holiday or extended leave.

  • Public Park Pro Tip: Enjoying the great outdoors and need a sip from a water bubbler or tap in a public park? Give it a quick 30-second flush, especially if it looks like it hasn’t seen much action. It’s a small step that can make a big difference in reducing exposure to lead.

  • Testing? Not Necessary: Before you think about testing your water for lead, take a breath and relax. By following the above suggestions, you’re already taking proactive steps to flush out dissolved metals like lead, copper, and nickel from your drinking water.

Embracing these practices doesn’t just contribute to your peace of mind; it actively enhances the quality of water you and your loved ones consume daily. So, here’s to taking control with simple actions that make a significant impact on our well-being. Cheers to clean, safe drinking water in every Aussie home!

Taqua built-in water filtration taps recommended by Gary Mays
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