These terms will help you cut through the jargon when it comes to learning more about lead in your home’s drinking water.
Corrosion: A dissolving and wearing away of metal caused by a chemical reaction (by water and metal pipes or two different metals in these instances).
First Draw: Water that immediately comes out when the tap is first opened.
Flush: To open a cold-water tap to clear out any water that may have been sitting for a long time in the pipes. In new homes, flushing a system means to send large volumes of water gushing through the unused pipes to remove loose particles of solder and flux.
Flux: A substance applied during soldering to facilitate the flow of solder. Flux often contains lead and can be a source of contamination.
Naturally Soft Water: Any water with low mineral content that lacks the hardness minerals calcium and magnesium.
Public Water System: Any system that supplies water to 25 or more people – or that has 15 or more service connections.
Service Connector: A pipe that carries tap water from the public water main to a building. These were often made of lead in the past.
Soft Water: Any water that is not “hard” or does not contain a large amount of dissolved minerals.
Solder: A metallic compound used to seal joints in plumbing. In the past, this compound contained about 50 percent lead.