Post # 1
Hi Ladies! Need some experience stories…
When we bought the house the lead was at 10 mu/g… safe water is 5 mu/g. The sellers put in a reverse osmosis filter in the kitchen, and it only brough the lead to 9.8 mu/g.
We had a plumber/ water guy come yesterday. He’s looking to see if its coming from the pipes (which is unlikely since our pipes are 98% PVC) or if its comes from the Well. Or even the Well pump.
So first step is checking the dept of the well to see if contaminants from the groud are leaching in, then we test the well pump, and the well pumps pipe… But if its the whole well, we need a NEW well… he said between $6-9K… OR a whole house filter for $4-7K.
We’ve been drinking from Brita pitchers and bottled water for 7 months.. and hope to figure this out soon! Any other Bees had lead, or a new well dug??? Cost? time? Anyone have a RO filter? or whole house filter? cost to maintain??
ETA: our house is a 1940s Cape Cod, in NJ
Post # 3
- Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI
I would definitely make sure all your pipes are checked and fixtures. Many times the fixtures in older home contain lead. So even if the pipes were updated if the fixtures were not the lead could be coming from those right at the tap.
Another tip is that typically if the lead is in your home system and not the well itself running the water for awhile to flush out the system can help. You may want to do a before and after test. Do a first draw sample (no water running – even toilet flush for 6-8 hours) and then run the water for awhile and take a sample. See if that helps.
Lead is typically measured as ppb or ug/L so I am unsure what your units of mu/g are referring to in this regard. The EPA action level for lead is 15 ppb.
If your levels remain high the best thing to do is follow a professional’s recommendation to remedy the problem. If you have a local health department or state agency I would contact them for information as well, I work for our public health department and we answer questions about these issues all the time for homeowners. I work with the microbiology side of it but our chemists test for lead all the time.
Best of luck and I hope the cause of this issue is found out soon!
Post # 4
Thank you! you are right i had written mu/g but it is ug/L (our faxed sheet is all wonky!) The fixtures we currently have are probably 10 years old. The plumber mentioned that as well, and I’m hoping that its something that simple! Thanks for taking the time to write.. I’m really hoping its a simple fix. we just spent $5k on basement waterproofing!
Post # 5
A new well may not cure your problem. I would call your nearest water district for help, they may get an engineer to help you for free Or may offer to sample your water For free.
Post # 6
@FreckledFox: Have they tested at a point prior to it entering the house fixtures, such as at the bleedoff on the pump? I am not sure that the RO is functioning correctly if it is not getting hardly any of the lead out. Have you had it checked?
Post # 7
i wonder where our water district is.. we should have one… hmmm
they have not yet.. thats the next step. the plumber was saying to us that we should test the pump and pipes leading from the well first before spending more $ on more testing of the water. Gonna do both! The RO we have, the plumber said, is a “homeowner model” which to him.. was not strong enough to ix the situation. Not sure why this didnt throw off any red lights on the home inspection. Our inspector was a complete idiot.
Post # 8
Who suggested you call a plumber anyway? We have everything you’ve mentioned, and when we had a problem with our well pump, we had to call in a company that specializes in wells.
We have had to replace the pump 3 times in 15 years, as we were ‘taken’ by the first company as we were so ignorant about what he was supposed to do. The first pump lasted less than 3 months, as he placed the new one at the same level as the old, without measuring and making sure the water level hadn’t dropped and it was submerged. For a pump with a 20 year warranty on it, and him telling us it burned out by being struck by lightening after a recent storm, our Homeowner’s insurance company certainly didn’t buy it. They arranged to have it picked up and tested and denied the claim. We paid $1500. the first time, $2000. (to another company the second) and $3500. to yet a different co. for the third. We couldn’t believe there were so many well companies using unlicensed and ill trained labor for these jobs. Twice our pumps were placed too high to allow for water table fluctuations.
Our RO system requires minimal upkeep. Filters are replaced annually, and that’s it. It usually runs in the $100. range and is an easy DIY. The replacement filters also come with a test kit so you can test all your levels.
Our property has 2 wells on it, but were done before we bought. I have no idea of the cost to replace it if we should ever need it. I called the town’s water dept. at one point to see if there was a significant drop in the underground water table as half our neighborhood had well pumps burn out over the course of a summer. It happened in another local neighborhood too, as the amount of new homes being built and wells being dug was affecting us all. Of course they denied any responsibility (as we knew they would), so everyone had to do a lot of replacing that year through no fault of our own.
I’m not sure what a whole house filter is, tho.
Post # 9
the whole house filter is a RO that goes from the well through a series of filters then to a huge tank, sort of like a water heater, then the water goes from the tank to the house. The guy we called is called a plumber but he specialized in filtration (which is what we looked into originally) he’d call his guy who specialized in wells if it comes to that. its good to know that upkeep isnt too bad. i know the he has to warn us of everytthing but the costs were so high! we’re calling another company next week for a second opinion!!
Post # 10
We have it too, and it wasn’t too bad to upgrade that whole tank system a few years ago Around $750, I think. For that, we need to keep adding solar salt (in huge bags) to filter the water. Its a pain but its a must.
The only issue we’ve had and was found on our own home inspection is the sulfur smell of the tap water. Not harmful and now we don’t even notice it.
We’ve had some medical issues over the years, and lead contamination was something I was concerned about too. Our house was built in 1969. I had the EPA out to test the water and had my Dr. send me for a blood test to check my levels. Both were fine.
Post # 11
SO we just got the results of the newest well test. Safe drinking water is 5ppb, and we’re at an astonishing 51 ppb. FIFTY ONE. WHAT????
Sigh, we’ve had a well company quote us around $7 to repair the new well and drill deeper, and the same company said $12K for a new well.
We’re trying to get a quote on a whole house/well filter reverse osmosis something…