The Flint, Michigan lead contamination water crisis has cast national spotlight on excessive levels of lead in drinking water systems across the country. In fact, USA Todayrecently reported that harmful lead levels were discovered in nearly 2000 water systems here in the US over the last four years. High levels of lead in water have been discovered in businesses, homes, schools and even daycares across the country. Compounding this problem, is that even though federal law mandates that water suppliers are required to inform residents if there is a harmful amount of lead in the water supply, almost ten percent of the nearly 2,000 failed to do so. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has deemed that there is no safe level of lead exposure, and as such, have set a maximum contaminant level goal (MCLG) of zero for lead in drinking water. While MCLG’s are not enforceable, the EPA does set an enforceable maximum contaminant level (MCL) for most contaminates based on the MCLG. Lead, however, is unique in that the EPA has established a “treatment technique” rather than an enforceable MCL. Considering the fact that most lead contamination of drinking water occurs after it leaves the water treatment plant, this treatment technique regulation requires water treatment systems to control the corrosivity of the water instead. They also require water treatment companies to collect tap samples from various sites served by the system, specifically homes and businesses that are more likely to have lead plumbing materials, such as those built before 1980. If they find lead levels in excess of 15 parts per billion in more than 10 percent of their tested samples, they are required to take further action.There are steps that can be taken to reduce lead content in drinking water, such as flushing the pipes before using or drinking the water. Flushing cold-water pipes until the running water gets as cold as possible will help reduce the amount of lead from water that has sat in the pipes for a while, and can take up to two minutes or longer. While this measure will help reduce your exposure to lead, there are still risks involved; not letting the water run long enough will not flush out sufficient lead and if your water has really high lead content to begin with, even proper flushing won’t be enough. The best way by far, to ensure adequate lead removal from your drinking water, is with a water filtration system. There isn’t any guesswork involved, and even if lead content fluctuates over time, you and your family will still be protected. Our LINX Drinking Water Systems, for example, remove 99 percent of the lead content in drinking water which makes getting that zero MCLG possible in most cases. Other water filtration systems can reduce the level of lead contamination, but even reverse osmosis filtration systems can’t beat that 99 percent removal rate. Lead contamination can cause some really serious problems, in both adults and children, so making sure your drinking water is as lead free as possible just makes sense.