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Know Your Water

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Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

Know Your Water

Help reduce the risk of lead for you and your loved ones Video

Help reduce the risk of lead for you and your loved ones

Lead is a metal that has been used in a wide variety of products, including older paint, faucets and other plumbing materials. Lead can be harmful if swallowed or inhaled and you can't see, taste or smell lead in water.

Protect your household from lead in tap water

If you have lead in your home tap water, it may be coming from a number of different sources. Below are steps you can take to lower your risk.

  • Use a certified water filter to help reduce lead in your home tap water.
  • Clean faucet screens, also known as aerators, at least every six months.
  • Run water through your pipes if you have not used your water for several hours. You can turn a faucet on all the way, take a shower or run a load of laundry.
  • Remove as many pipes, older faucets and other plumbing materials that may contain lead as soon as possible. Look for brass fixtures and faucets made before 2014; these may contain higher levels of lead than newer fixtures and faucets.
  • If road construction or water system pipe repairs are taking place near your home, clean faucet screens every month and filter your home tap water daily until the work is done.
  • Boiling water does NOT remove lead - it will concentrate it.

You can use a certified water filter to help reduce lead in your water

If you have lead in your tap water at home, you can take action by using a certified water filter. Filters will help reduce lead in your water. When considering water filters, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Only cold water should be filtered - hot water will damage the filter.
  • Filter any water you use to cook, drink, prepare food, make baby formula, brush your teeth or give to your pets.
  • Look for filters that are labeled NSF/ANSI Certified Standard 53 for lead reduction and NSF/ANSI Standard 42 for particulate reduction (Class I).
  • Follow the instructions on the box to install and maintain the filter properly.
  • You should choose the best type of filter based on your needs. There are several types but the most common are faucet-mounted filters and pitcher water filters.

When is it OK to use unfiltered water?

Lead is not easily absorbed by the skin. Taking a bath or shower with unfiltered water is safe as long as you avoid drinking the water. Children should be supervised to minimize the amount of water they swallow. You can also use unfiltered water for any of the following:

  • Washing hands
  • Doing the dishes
  • Washing clothes
  • Cleaning floors and countertops

Partner Resources

Help the people of Michigan reduce their risk from lead in tap water.

Learn more about partner resources