How can you get your water tested for lead at home?

Local News

Troy Hernandez, an environmental justice activist with Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization shows a piece of lead pipe obtained from his residence during his home renovation, Friday, April 9, 2021 in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. Hernandez recently spent $15,000 to replace the lead service lines bringing water into his home. (AP Photo/Shafkat Anowar)

ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – With recent news emerging from Benton Harbor, Michigan regarding the amount of lead in the city’s water, it’s good to know how you can check the lead in your home.

Here are some ways you can see if you have lead in your tap water according to becausewater.

Sending your water to a Lab to be tested

This way of determining if you have lead pipes or lead in your water is one of the best as it tell you the exact amount of possible lead in the water.

The downside is that it can be expensive and time-consuming to wait for the results.

For Chemung County residents, you can call the Chemung County Department of Health and ask to get a lead test done. They require you to pick up a special container where you would have to fill it with the water in your house, preferably in the morning as it will show the most lead and then return it so it can be shipped to a lab.

Buying an at-home test kit

This method is a much more cost-friendly method, but these kids you can buy in stores and online won’t be able to tell you the exact amount of lead in your water.

They can be bought from home improvement stores and online, and are fairly simple to follow in order to test for lead in the water.

Self-Diagnose your own pipes

This is one way to find out if you have lead pipes in your home, however, it won’t be able to tell if you have lead in your water, but it’s a start.

If the pipes are a copper color or plastic then you know right away they’re not lead, but if they’re a black or grey color, it could be galvanized steel or lead.

The first thing to do to see if it’s lead is grab a key or some kind of coin and scratch it across the pipe. If there is a white line that is present after you scratch the pipe, then it’s lead, if no scratch is there then it’s steel.

This way is only good for pipes you’re able to see, but once again, you won’t be able to tell if there is lead in the water unless using one of the methods above.

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