Following the Flint water crisis, where it was discovered that about 2,000 water systems across all 50 states contained excessive levels of lead, there is an increased concern about its content in residential areas.
Regardless of the awareness, there is no denying that lead, one of the most prominent health and environmental threats, is still present in our water systems.
It is because, even though most pipes are now made of copper, lead solder was used in connecting the copper pipes in houses built before 1986. And even the lines in newer homes may still transport H2O with high levels of lead.
That is why there is a constant demand for the best water filters to remove lead from households, and this article will discuss the top 6 water filters for your home.
Is lead harmful to your health?
Lead is a toxic metal that harms human health despite low contamination levels. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the ideal maximum amount of drinking water should be zero.
It is persistent and can build up to disturbing levels in the body. Fetuses, infants, and children are more vulnerable to its effects, as they have less tolerance than adults.
In children, even low levels in the blood can cause:
- Behavior and learning challenges
- Reduced IQ and hyperactivity
- Delayed growth and development
- Hearing difficulties
- Problems with the central and peripheral nervous system
- Impaired development and function of blood cells
Sometimes, ingestion of lead can even cause seizures, coma, or death.
Adults are not immune to this neurotoxin. Exposure to lead can cause
- brain disorders,
- increased blood pressure,
- reproductive issues,
- damage to kidneys, red blood cells, and walls of the bloodstream.
It is also dangerous for pregnant women because of their unborn babies. Constant exposure could cause abnormalities like delayed fetus growth or even premature birth.
How can you tell if your home water has a lot of lead?
Lead is tasteless, odorless, and invisible in water. But there are two ways to tell if the H2O in your home is contaminated.
First of all, find out about the water system for your home.
Every community system writes and delivers an annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) for customers by July 1 each year.
You can check for the latest report to know the level of lead in water. But if your supply is from a household well or a private supply, you can check with your health department.
Also, you can conduct a test to get immediate results.
Sometimes homes may have internal plumbing tools that contain lead, and because it is invisible, testing is the only way to tell its quantity.
You can visit any certified laboratory in your state or get a home test kit to get immediate results.
Best filtration methods to remove lead from water
With the threats of exposure to lead, it is okay to ask: “can you filter out lead from water?”
The good news is that you can. In fact, you can install a filter for lead in water since the process is straightforward. The challenge, however, falls in finding the best filter for your requirements.
Now, there are three best filtration methods:
1. Reverse osmosis
Reverse osmosis is the most popular and cost-effective method to remove and reduce lead content.
In reverse osmosis treatment, the pressure of the water in your household is forced through the mineral filters.
Then the membrane in the system filters the contaminants. After the filtration, impurities are removed so that the H2O inside your home is clean, filtered, lead-free drinking water.
Reverse osmosis requires no energy, is affordable, easy to maintain, and effectively removes 95% of lead.
Although distillation offers almost 100% pure water, it is one of the costliest ways of eliminating lead.
But as the amount of water filtration in each turn increases, the cost reduces.
The distillation method still remains efficient even after using it for a long time. Plus, you don’t have to replace the cartridge all the time.
However, distillation takes time and requires a lot of electricity to process.
3. Activated Carbon Filtration
The activated carbon absorbs heavy metals, including magnesium, and other harmful contaminants, during the treatment process.
While some carbon-activated filtration methods eliminate lead completely, others don’t.
Unlike the distillation process, the filter cartridges for activated carbon filtration are quickly filled up and often need replacement.
Additionally, the filters’ potency reduces after filtering for a while depending on the quality.
Top 6 water filters to get rid of lead
Several water filters can remove contaminants from your water. However, the aim is often to find the best option depending on your requirements
Before you get a filter, check for one with an NSF Standard 53 (National Sanitation Foundation) certification, as they are guaranteed to conserve energy and be of high quality. Let’s see what filters remove lead from water.
1. Reverse Osmosis Filters
While reverse osmosis systems are cost-effective and easy to use, they do not remove all the lead – 94% to 97% max.
This is because the available systems for commercial and household use are partial RO systems, not complete ones.
So, to get optimal results, you will need to include an activated carbon filter cartridge in the RO for the best lead filter water.
2. Carbon filters
You can get any of the numerous carbon filters in the market for your faucets.
Carbon water filters are one of the filters that remove lead, mercury, chlorine, microbiological cysts, pharmaceuticals, and byproducts from disinfections.
The system operates by pressure per gallon (PPG) of the supply to your faucets.
So, if the PPG of the supply to your faucet is not more than 50 scales, you would need to get a water pump in the main water line to increase the pressure and get the best results.
Although you will have to change the KDF filters cartridges often, they are affordable, and the process does not require electricity.
3. Whole House Filters
This is ideal for houses with supplies from wells. The whole house filters are installed on the main line before the water gets to the internal lines for the best water filter lead removal. The filters effectively remove the iron and lead content from the well water.
The 15 ppb and 25 ppb filters are ideal for large units of more than 100 gallons, and the 100 ppb is practical for commercial use of 1,50,000 gallons per day.
4. Filter Pitchers
Filter pitchers are portable, cost-effective, and energy-efficient filters for personal use. They employ a coconut-based activated carbon and ion exchange resin to significantly remove lead from drinking water.
Filter pitchers also need a WQA certification – an extra standards certification, proving that they can eliminate about 99% of lead.
5. Shower filters
Shower filters are one of the best water filters for lead removal as they achieve removal of up to 99% accuracy from the shower using a precise medium.
Also, since boiling or heating water increases the lead concentration, the shower filters remove the excess contaminants in hot water from the heater.
6. Undercounter purifiers
Undercounter purifiers are one of the most common drinking water filters which remove lead.
Although they do not employ the complete reverse osmosis process, they have a different type of filtration that removes up to 99.9% of lead from water.
Also, since under-sink filters are inline filters, they are affordable and easy to install. Plus, they feature temperature control to ensure no increased concentration in the containers.
With all the medical implications of lead exposure, one cannot over-emphasize the need to eliminate exposure and ingestion.
Fortunately, there are options to help you achieve this goal regardless of your requirements.
So whether you only want filtered drinking water with a filter pitcher or a whole house filter, it is essential to use a filtration system you can trust to give you value for your money.
At Filterway, we have the best filters for water for your home. We can also help you decide the best filtration systems to keep your water supply lead-free.