Exposure to lead is a serious health concern. Even small amounts of lead can build up in the body over time, potentially causing damage to the brain, nervous system, kidneys, and other major organs. Lead is especially dangerous for children and pregnant women. Unfortunately, lead can make its way into drinking water through old pipes and plumbing fixtures that contain lead. With approximately 68% of homes in Tampa Bay being over 30 years old, lead contamination is a major issue that requires effective treatment solutions.^1
How Lead Gets Into Drinking Water
There are a few ways that lead can find its way into your home's tap water in the Tampa Bay area:
Old Lead Pipes: Homes built before 1986 likely have lead service lines or interior plumbing made from lead. As water passes through these pipes, lead can leach into the water.
Old Fixtures & Solder: Faucets, valves, and other plumbing fixtures made before 2014 may also contain lead. Lead solder was commonly used to join copper pipes prior to 1986.
Corrosion: Over time, water can cause lead pipes and solder to corrode. This causes lead particles to break off into the water.
The Floridan Aquifer: Lead and other heavy metals can be naturally occurring contaminants prevalent in well water sources like the Floridan Aquifer.
Health Effects of Lead Exposure
According to the EPA, there is no known safe level of lead exposure.^2 Even very low levels can have cumulative and irreversible health consequences:
Brain and nervous system damage
Learning disabilities and developmental delays in children
Fertility issues and miscarriage risks in pregnant women
Cardiovascular impacts like high blood pressure and heart disease
Kidney dysfunction and liver damage
On top of the effects of hard water and other contaminants on personal care, lead puts Tampa Bay residents at even greater risk for hair loss, dry skin and eczema flare ups. The impacts of lead on health make finding the right treatment solution critically important.
Water Filtration Systems That Remove Lead
Thankfully, there are several highly effective water treatment options available for removing lead and protecting your household. The best solution for your home depends on the source of lead, other water quality issues present, and your budget. Systems fall into Point-of-Use (single faucet) or Whole House categories.
Point-of-Use Filtration Systems
Point-of-use systems treat water at one faucet, allowing you to target specific areas of lead exposure in the home.
Reverse osmosis uses a multi-stage filtration process with a semi-permeable membrane to remove total dissolved solids like lead and other heavy metals. It removes over 99% of lead along with other major contaminants.
Pros: Exceptionally thorough filtration, affordable point-of-use system
Cons: Can be slow, wastes water through reject stream
UV light destroys disease-causing pathogens without chemicals. While UV does not directly filter out lead, it provides critical protection from bacteria when used alongside other lead removal systems.
Pros: Chemical-free disinfection, highly effective bacterial treatment
Cons: Does not remove metals or other contaminants, requires separate filtration
Whole House Water Treatment Systems
Whole house systems filter all water entering the home, providing protection at every tap. They effectively remove lead no matter the source.
Multi-stage whole house carbon and sediment filtration extracts lead particles along with other contaminants present in water. It is highly customizable to meet the specific water treatment needs of each home.
Pros: Comprehensive whole home filtration, customized treatment solutions
Cons: More expensive than point-of-use options
Ozone breaks down lead molecules into harmless components through oxidation. HydroClear units also oxidize iron, manganese, sulfur and bacteria.
Pros: Extremely effective for lead and other metals, chemical-free oxidation treatment
Cons: More complex installation, does not filter sediment
Retention Tank + Chlorine Injection System
Corrosion from distribution systems is a major cause of lead in drinking water. Chlorine controls corrosion while retention tanks let chlorine adequately mix and disinfect.
Pros: Limits corrosion from pipes, provides residual disinfection of bacteria
Cons: Chlorine can react with organics to form disinfection byproducts
Water Testing for Lead
Since you cannot taste, smell or see lead contamination, water testing is imperative to understand if lead is present. Testing also shows if corrosion is increasing lead levels throughout distribution pipes. Annual testing ensures systems are working properly and additional actions can be taken before lead levels get dangerously high.
Aqua-Wise Water Treatment Solutions offers professional lab-grade FREE water testing for homeowners in Tampa Bay. Results are delivered in 48 business hours with recommendations from water quality experts tailored to your system’s needs. We carry all major brands and offer custom solutions for any home.
Protect Your Family from the Effects of Lead
Exposure to high levels of lead can have tragic health consequences, especially in children and pregnant women. Thankfully, we have the water treatment technology to reduce this dangerous neurotoxin to very low levels in drinking water. Investing in water filtration provides lasting benefits for your household's health and peace of mind knowing your family has access to clean, safe water right from the tap.
Schedule Your FREE Water Test Today: 727-236-7161 to detect lead and get a customized treatment plan for your home from our team of water quality experts. We offer discounts, promotions, and financing options to help you protect what matters most - your family.