Author Topic: Lead in water / pipes?  (Read 928 times)

Offline kytt

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Lead in water / pipes?
« on: December 05, 2019, 10:03:24 PM »
Hi there!

We're currently searching in the historic district of JH. Is lead in water an issue in these older prewar buildings? Do people typically test for it after they've moved in, during/after renovations or even before contract signing? Trying to get a sense of how serious the problem is and what the typical treatment is (e.g. replace pipes or add filters, etc).

Thanks!

Offline am315

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Re: Lead in water / pipes?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2019, 02:06:32 PM »
All of the plumbing in pre-war buildings is likely to be made of lead. There are some exceptions, of course, like if there was a substantial renovation in a particular unit or a big repair made in which some pipes were replaced. Even if you were to find an apartment without lead pipes it's very likely that the big pipe in the street that carries water to your apartment is lead. So the bottom line is there's lead in our drinking water. But the good news is that it's probably not at levels that are dangerous.

If you are at all concerned, which is reasonable, the NYC DEP offers all residents a do-it-yourself lead testing kit. You take some samples and they will send you the results. I did this and discovered there are low levels of lead, nothing that is a health hazard. But they did recommend that I run the water in my kitchen 2-5 minutes before using it.

Here's the link to get your free kit:
https://www1.nyc.gov/site/dep/water/lead-in-drinking-water-test-kit.page

If you are thinking of buying a place you could put water testing in your contract.

Offline abcdefghijk

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Re: Lead in water / pipes?
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2019, 07:08:40 PM »
We had our water tested. It's safe.

Offline cmartinez

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Re: Lead in water / pipes?
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2019, 08:18:08 PM »

Offline StevenGrey

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Re: Lead in water / pipes?
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2019, 08:27:48 PM »
A test conducted by one concerned shareholder in our landmark district coop revealed lead levels at 3 parts per million when the cold water was first run, down to 2 parts per million after 2 minutes of running the cold water. CDC guidance suggests a health concern (especially for children) when lead levels are 15 parts per million or above.

One can easily purchase and self-install a professional grade water filtration system underneath the kitchen sink at The Home Depot if ANY level of lead in the drinking water is unacceptable to them. Removing/replacing pipes would not be a practical solution, as the source of lead could very well be the water main and supply line leading into the building.

Offline StevenGrey

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Re: Lead in water / pipes?
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2019, 10:23:30 PM »
Just making a correction to the stats in my earlier reply: I should have said parts per billion, not parts per million.

Offline kytt

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Re: Lead in water / pipes?
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2019, 10:13:50 PM »
Thanks for the feedback everyone! We'll keep the water filtration system in mind, that may be the likely route we go if/when we find a place.

Offline itsit

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Re: Lead in water / pipes?
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2019, 02:07:00 PM »
  We sometimes have a reddish tint to the bath water in our apt. Does anyone know if this is connected to lead? I am going to order this test but it sounds like most of the concern is with drinking water.

Offline Jeffsayyes

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Re: Lead in water / pipes?
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2019, 02:19:44 PM »
Anybody else concerned about the PVC pipes ? I get that it's better than lead but I definitely taste something....

Offline carrefour_ny

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Re: Lead in water / pipes?
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2019, 05:51:14 PM »
  We sometimes have a reddish tint to the bath water in our apt. Does anyone know if this is connected to lead? I am going to order this test but it sounds like most of the concern is with drinking water.

@itsit: lead can't be seen, smelled or tasted in water, per the CDC, so the reddish color you may be seeing or the taste Jeff was referring to is likely sediments or rust from prolonged periods of water sitting in the pipes.

Here is the most recent annual report on water quality of water in NYC; there is a section on lead in water in NYC as well, which confirms that levels of lead are not a safety issue:

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/dep/about/drinking-water-supply-quality-report.page

And here is the CDC link:

https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/prevention/sources/water.htm?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fnceh%2Flead%2Fleadinwater%2Fdefault.htm

Jackson Heights Life

Re: Lead in water / pipes?
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2019, 05:51:14 PM »