High Lead Levels are not caused by your fountains.

It’s in the pipes, and can show up anywhere... any time.

Lead detected in one faucet
will eventually show up in others.

Lead contamination in fountains and kitchen faucets is an issue for most school districts and a significant health problem for children. It’s a common misconception that replacing a “hot” fountain or two will solve the problem. It won’t. And daily flushing has also been shown to be ineffective.

Most lead contamination comes from underground water pipes and from lead solder joints throughout the building, not from the fountain itself. If you find high lead levels on one location, it’s only a matter of time until it will appear in others since they’re all connected to the same pipes. It’s a Whack-A-Mole problem.

Professor Marc Edwards, the Virginia Tech researcher who discovered the Washington, DC lead problem and is helping Flint, MI deal with theirs, says it best… “You can collect 10, 20 samples of your water that show pretty low levels of lead—6 or 7 parts per billion (ppb), but then you might collect another sample where [You’ll have] 3,000 ppb lead.”

Things are not always as they seem.

Children absorb about 85% of lead consumed in drinking water. This can cause serious health problems such as central nervous system damage, learning disabilites, concentration and personality disorders, and growth and development deficiencies.

Invisible, odorless contaminants

While water quality in North America is generally considered to be good, system upsets, changes in water treat- ment conditions, and an ever-increasing list of harmful contaminants like lead, copper, pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals and tossed the caustic forms of algae found in water nationwide has caused us to rethink how we keep drinking water safe, especially in our schools.

Lead is a good example of the problem with current drinking water standards. The current EPA “action level” for lead contamination is 15 parts per billion (ppb), but medical studies clearly show that as little as 7 ppb will affect kid’s health.

Harmful lead levels

Harmful lead levels

  • Professor Marc Edwards, the leading expert in the field says that any test showing 400 ppb of lead in water could be toxic after one drink.
  • EcoWater Safe Fountain Systems delivers near zero lead levels.

Lead in our
cooking water

Often overlooked, food preparation areas are another important location where water treatment is critical. Lead and other contaminants can be cooked into food in surprisingly high quantities and effective water filtration is imperative for any water touching food.

How it happens

Lead contamination

Lead both dissolves and particulates flake off piping and connectors when present in the water distribution system. Lead also accumulates in the bio film inside all piping that acts like a reservoir, dislodging with common changes in water chemistry, system upsets, pressure drops and high velocity flushing.

Water mains & lead service lines

Soldered water mains, connectors and service lines from the street to the building were often made of lead before 1960. Interestingly, their replacement can exacerbate the problem by freeing particulates that further accumulate in the piping downstream and give off high levels of lead for years.

Plumbing & fixtures

Buildings constructed before 1987 used lead solder joints, which can be a contributor of lead contamination. High content lead faucets and fountain bubblers, even the ‘Lead-free” products installed before 2014, can be a problem and should be replaced. Their replacement will not, however, solve the other upstream problems.

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