You may have watched a recent story in the news regarding contaminated tap water. After a recent experience of our own where our home water tasted like soil I was very keen to learn more about this. According to a study conducted by Macquarie University, high levels of both lead and copper were found in tap water samples across NSW. The study involved 212 households who were asked to draw samples from their tap water after a 9 hour period of non use. The results of the tests were shocking.

What were the results of the study?

From the samples analysed, it was discovered that 100% of samples contained traces of copper and 51% contained traces of lead. According to the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG), 5% of these samples exceeded the maximum amount of copper and 8% exceeded the maximum amount of lead.

Who are most at risk?

Professor Mark Taylor, of Macquarie University, identified that babies and pregnant women are most at risk, particularly those who use formula. Exposure to chemicals such as lead have been shown to have a detrimental effect on children’s brain development, cognitive functioning, behaviour and IQ.

During the study it became clear that a major source of lead contamination was in fact the taps inside each household, with most brass plumbing fittings containing lead. This means that even if your water is clean, your taps may be cross-contaminating it with metals. Other sources of contamination include some water filters, rainwater tanks and corrosion of plumbing fittings. Although the study was conducted in NSW, Macquarie University’s Paul Harvey said, “as the sampling of household water took place across NSW, the widespread distribution of samples with elevated copper and lead concentrations demonstrates that this is not a spatially-isolated problem, and that domestic supplies across Australia are likely to be subject to similar issues”.

What is the solution?

Although there are lead free stainless steel taps available, they can be difficult to find. One solution is to use a filter that removes lead from your tap water. Here at Love Your Health we have a great selection of bench top water filters that are the perfect addition to any kitchen or office space. If you’re after something to keep in the fridge, We recommend the Waters Co Ace 1.9L Alkaline Water Filter $169.95. This handy jug has a 1.9L capacity and works to balance your water’s pH levels. It also removes any chemicals, heavy metals, fluoride, odours and bacteria.

For something a little larger for the home or office, We love the Waters Co BMP 400 5.25L Bench Top Alkaline Water Filter $749. This hard working water filter removes any hidden nasties including rust, sediment, bacteria or chlorine. It also removes 99% of fluoride, all without the use of electricity or tap connection. As it’s so important to ensure you’re drinking enough water each day, using an effective filter is the best way to avoid contamination.