The drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan, has people across the country wondering: how can I tell if our tap water is polluted with lead?

As has been widely reported, lead pipes or the solder that connects them may leach lead into tap water. Municipal water utilities may be responsible for these pipes, or they may be inside your home.

How much lead is in your family’s tap water can vary considerably, from tiny amounts to concentrations well above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s action limit – 15 parts per billion in water. That’s the level at which public utilities must inform the public about lead contamination and take steps to stop it from migrating from pipes into water.


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