When it comes to water filters, there’s no universal option because they’re built to remove specific contaminants. Some may be able to remove more impurities than others, but no one can remove all. It’s why checking the particular ability of the filter you own or intend to buy is essential. Most plumbing materials contain lead, which can enter your drinking water when the fixtures corrode.
Can ZeroWater, one of the most popular countertop filters, remove lead from your drinking water? It’s easier to find certified faucet filters to remove lead as it uses the pressure from the faucet to drive the water through its particle and dissolved solid removal membranes. The same cannot be said for most pitcher filters due to their reduced flow rate, so it is valid to ask about ZeroWater’s lead removal efficiency.
Remember, being able to remove lead and meeting the standards are two different situations, with many pitcher filters unable to satisfy the latter. However, the ZeroWater filter’s reputation is enormous, so we’ll check if it can block lead to the required standard to be certified as a lead removal filter.
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What is Lead and How Does it Enter Drinking Water?
Lead is a heavy metal typically with a dark grey hue. It is dense but soft and malleable, making it suitable for making plumbing pipes, paint, ceramics, and cosmetics. Lead is a poor conductor of electricity but a superconductor at extremely high temperatures. While most lead has stable isotopes, a small portion is radioactive, usually those decayed from the uranium series.
Lead is everywhere due to its various uses, from domestic products to ammunition like bullets. This element is typically found in copper, zinc, and silver ores and available in the earth’s crust, among other minerals. Lead’s journey to your drinking water is plausible, considering it’s used even in making the inside of water pipes.
However, the harmful effects of lead in water have caused the substance to be substituted from pipes. Old houses may still carry lead pipes, but newer pipe installations no longer have this worry. While this will considerably reduce the amount of lead that can enter your drinking water, other sources add this heavy metal to your water.
Lead can also enter through paint wash-ups, cosmetics, disintegrating ceramics, and paint wash-ups, even though lead paints have been phased out because of their toxicity. The safe lead quantity in drinking water is less than 10 micrograms per liter; anything more is considered unsafe. So many things can go wrong with exposure to high amounts of lead in drinking water.
Health Implication of Lead in Drinking Water
The acceptable quantity is below 10 micrograms of lead per liter of water; above that, you’re threading a thin line with profound health implications. Lead is a potent neurotoxin, so most implications are related to the brain. But that’s not all; it can affect the formation of blood and damage tissues and organs.
Exposure to lead affects both adults and children with varying health problems. Children under six are more susceptible to complications from exposure to lead as their central nervous system and brains are still in their formative years. Kids can experience brain damage that can lead to problems like low IQ and behavioral problems. Stunted growth and hearing problems are also common issues lead exposure can cause in children.
Adults will require a higher exposure level for issues like miscarriages as the lead can reach the fetus through the placenta. Other challenges in adults include hypertension, reduced sperm count, and anemia.
Can ZeroWater Remove Lead?
Consistent exposure to lead can be damaging, so familiar lead sources in water, like plumbing pipes and paints, have been discontinued. However, it’s not enough, and you must protect yourself if you notice a high amount of lead in your water. ZeroWater is a compact filter you should consider, but first, can it remove lead from your drinking water?
Testing has shown that ZeroWater can remove up to 99% of lead from water. The filter is built to remove almost all the lead and ensure it is under the recommended safe quantity of below 10 micrograms per liter.
Following NSF’s testing protocols based on 40-gallon filtration, ZeroWater was shown to remove up to 99% of the substance. The results were similar when tested with 20 gallons of water. For a filter to be certified by NSF to remove lead, it must be able to remove both lead particles and dissolved lead. NSF updated this requirement after 2007 to improve safety.
To be certified, any filter must reduce 150 parts per billion of lead to 10 parts per billion. It also included that at least 30% must be lead particles while the rest can be dissolved solids.
How do ZeroWater Filters Remove Lead?
How can ZeroWater remove lead considering many other pitcher filters lack this ability? It’s a question on the minds of ardent filter enthusiasts, and it is easy to see why. The recent NSF regulations make it difficult for pitcher filters to pass the test, as their flow rates would be severely affected when lead particles are involved. So how did ZeroWater overcome this?
ZeroWater filter can remove lead from your drinking water due to its comprehensive 5-stage filtration system. When considering dissolved solids, FDA approved a reduction rate of 0 to 0.001 ppm for a filter to be rated as adequate. ZeroWater has been tested to have a TDS rating of zero.
While most filters use single or double-stage filters, ZeroWater has a 5-step unit with better filtration capacity to remove lead. The fourth filtration stage, the dual comprehensive ion exchange resin, removes most of the lead. The five filter stages all play a role in removing all the lead particles and dissolved solids from the water.
When to Replace ZeroWater Filter?
Remember, ZeroWater or any other water filter does not last forever. You must maintain and replace the filters when required to continue getting purified water free from dangerous lead substances.
ZeroWater sports a 40-gallon or 3 to 4 months lifespan on average use. Suppose you’re an average user with a regular impurity level in your water. In that case, you should replace the filter every three months. However, this time can change depending on your usage. Thankfully, the ZeroWater will usually leave clues so you know when to replace the filter.
Paying attention to the water’s smell, taste, and color to detect any change is an excellent way to know when to replace your ZeroWater filter. Metallic or acidic taste, cloudy water, and a foul smell are signs of poor filtration. You should also write down the date you started using it so you don’t forget. This way, you can correctly calculate the usage period. Also, frequently testing the water with your TDD meter will let you know when efficiency drops.
Check out some widespread questions about ZeroWater’s lead removal capacity with their answers here.
Can ZeroWater remove heavy metals?
ZeroWater deionizes water through its ion exchange level to remove inorganic matter and heavy metals like chromium and lead.
What other filtration methods removed lead?
Reverse osmosis systems have a high lead removal efficiency; however, it is expensive and usually only available in high-end filters. Activated carbon and distillation filters are other alternatives to removing lead from water.
How do you test for lead in water?
If you’re using a public water source, your local water supplier can test the water in your home for free. However, this can vary depending on the supplier, so contact them for details. Where this is not possible, a simple lead testing kit will suffice.
Lead in your water above 10 micrograms per liter can cause severe illnesses, so removing this substance from water is vital. ZeroWater sports a 99% lead removal rate keeping your water safe from lead and other impurities. Its 5-stage purification system makes lead removal possible even for its pitcher variants.