Steps You Can Take in the Home to Reduce Exposure to Lead in Drinking Water:
- Flush pipes before drinking. If water hasn’t been used for several hours, run faucet until the water feels cooler.
- Use only water from the cold-water tap for drinking, cooking and especially for making baby formula. Hot water is likely to contain higher levels of lead and other metals.
- Change out old fixtures. Plumbing regulations now stipulate that all fixtures must be manufactured lead-free. Consider installing new fixtures and/or pipes to eliminate sources of exposure.
- Test water. The only way to know if lead is present in your household water is to have it tested by an Oregon Health Authority (OHA) accredited laboratory.
- Other sources of household lead contamination, such as lead-based paint, can put children at risk. Contact the Washington County Health Department for additional resources on lead reduction.
- Do not boil water to remove lead. Boiling water will concentrate lead – not remove it.
- Additional information on minimizing lead exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 503-988-4000, the Environmental Protection Agency Website, or the Center for Disease Control Website.
For more information on lead specific to your service area, please contact your water agency: