How to Remove Lead from Water Naturally

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Lead in water is never good because it can cause serious health problems when ingested.

Thankfully, there are several ways to get rid of lead in your water naturally.

So, if you want to get rid of that pesky lead problem, read on!

Key Takeaways

  • The most natural method to remove lead from water is to simply flush out your pipes. Run water through your taps for several minutes until it becomes as cold as possible. Doing this will help remove any lead that may have built up in your pipes.
  • The most effective ways to remove lead from water are through purification and filtration:
    • Distillation
    • Reverse osmosis
    • Activated carbon and KDF filtration

How to Remove Lead from Water Naturally

So, how do you remove lead from water naturally?

Well, it depends on what “naturally” means. If it refers to a process without chemicals, there are several ways indeed.

The most natural method is to simply flush out your water pipes. This is done by running water through your taps for several minutes until the water becomes as cold as possible. Doing this will help remove any lead that may have built up in your pipes. It’s not always a reliable way to remove lead from water entirely, but it can reduce your lead exposure significantly.

That said, the most effective (and still natural!) ways to remove lead from water are through purification and distillation. In the coming sections, we’ll expand on both methods.

Water Distillation

Water distillation is a natural process where water condenses leaving behind any impurities.

Home water distillers use a boiling chamber in order to heat water; the steam is collected in a cooling coil. This condensed steam is lead-free water, making it one of the most effective ways to remove lead.

However, this method also removes healthy minerals, like calcium and magnesium. Additionally, distilled water can taste flat due to its lack in minerals.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis is a purification process where water is forced through a semi-permeable membrane. This removes lead and almost any other contaminants from the water, making it safe to drink.

As with water distillation, (reverse) osmosis is a process that occurs everywhere in nature.

Under Sink Reverse Osmosis System

Activated Carbon Filtration

Activated carbon is most often based on coconut shells. It’s a type of carbon that’s treated with oxygen to make it extremely porous. This porosity makes it great for lead removal, as the lead can attach itself to the activated carbon and be filtered out. Many commercial water filters use activated carbon filtration to remove lead and other contaminants.

KDF Filtration

Probably the least natural way to remove lead from water, KDF filtration uses “redox” reactions.

These reactions cause electrons to be transferred between filter media and water contaminants. This is how dissolved lead is converted into insoluble lead which then gets trapped in the filter element.

Which Water Filters Remove Lead?

If you’re in the market for a water filter for lead, know that not all models are created equal. Some are better at removing lead than others. You can narrow your choices by looking only at filters with certification or testing from the NSF.

This doesn’t apply to water distillers. The distillation process effectively removes lead from water; thus, water distiller products do not need NSF certification.

NSF Standard 53 and 58

There are different NSF Standards for different contaminants, but for lead specifically, you’ll want to look at Standard 53 and 58.

Standard 53 offers over 50 contaminant reduction claims, including lead. It covers both point-of-use (POU) filtration systems and point-of-entry (POE) filtration systems.

Standard 58 is specifically made for reverse osmosis systems. This ensures that a system meets the requirements for eliminating lead and other contaminants.

Does Boiling Water Remove Lead?

No, boiling water does not remove lead from it. On the contrary, boiling water can increase the amount of lead in the water. When water boils, it concentrates all of the contaminants and pollutants in the water, including lead.

Boiling is not the same as distilling. The latter involves boiling water and then collecting the steam in another container, which leaves the lead and other contaminants behind.

How Does Lead Get into Drinking Water?

Lead can enter your drinking water in two ways.

  • The most common way is if your water comes from a lead pipe. Lead pipes were once used to transport water, but they have since been replaced with safer materials. However, there are still many homes and buildings that have lead pipes in them. If your home was built before 1986, then there’s a good chance you have lead pipes.
  • Secondly, lead can get into your water if you live in an area with high levels of lead in the ground. Lead can leach into water that’s in contact with lead-containing soils or rocks.

Effects of Lead Poisoning

Lead poisoning can cause various health problems, both in adults and children. In adults, lead poisoning can cause high blood pressure, kidney damage, and fertility problems. Lead poisoning can also cause developmental delays, learning difficulties, and behavioral problems in children.

How Much Lead Is Safe in Drinking Water?

Absolutely no amount of lead is considered safe in drinking water. Lead is a toxic metal that can cause serious health problems when ingested, even in small amounts.

How to Test for Lead in Water

If you suspect your water supply contains lead, it’s important to test it. Here are three ways to confirm lead contaminants in water:

1. Consumer Confidence Reports

The Environmental Protection Agency requires every public water system to provide an annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). This report will show you if lead is found in your water supply and at what levels. To get this, visit your water supplier and ask for the CCR.

2. Lead Test Kits

You can also buy a lead test kit from a hardware store or online. These kits will test for lead in water and show you how much is present. They may not be as accurate as professional testing, however.

diy water test strips

3. Accredited Labs

You can hire an accredited lab to test your water for lead if you want a more reliable testing method. This is the most expensive option, but it will give you the most accurate results.

If you have any questions about how to remove lead from water naturally please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

About the Author Alexandra Uta

Alex is a content writer with an affinity for research and a methodical attention to detail. Since 2020, she has fully immersed herself into the home water treatment industry only to become an expert herself. Alex has been using water filters and similar products for years which has gained her lots of hands-on experience.
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