link to Home Page

Lead Testing

Suburban Water Testing Labs, Inc/, (800)433-6595, will test for lead, but they assume that you will send them samples to test. Hach sells a standalone unit requiring power that gives a digital readout for $399 (ouch!). Remembering back to high school days, I recall testing water samples in class for different elements using reagents only. I was thinking lead was one of them. Does anybody know the reagents needed to test for lead (without the need for powered equipment)?

Offered by Steve.

This may not be the best way but it is a way to test for presence of lead.

Lindsay Publications 815 935-5353, item 4198
Blowpipe Analysis $10.95 Shows how one can use a candle, oil lamp, or Bunsen burner, a blowpipe, charcoal, and/or Borax. From the color and the properties one can tell if lead is present. Can't tell the percentage but can tell the presence of lead. One would need to get the book and practice, looks like a bit of detailed observation is needed.

Money spent on a good filter is probably more appropriate than a lot of money spent on testing equipment. One simple way would be to use a series of reverse osmosis filters. A pre-filter for small particles would be used. For example with a Seven stage filter and an activated charcoal filter before the last stage one can get very pure water, often times much better than commercially available distilled water. One only needs to use as many stages as necessary to get the PPM level down below what one wants. Often times this is much less than 7 series filters. One can assume on an average about 5x reduction in mineral content for each filter. 2 filters would give about 25x reduction. 3 filters 125x and 4 filters 500x, 5 filters 2500x, and so on. Reverse Osmosis filters waste a lot of water at each stage. One could use the full 7 stages for distilled water equivalent. and one or 2 or 3 stages for drinking and plant water. This approach would only be practical if one had a lot of water to waste. As far as I can tell right now rebuilding these filters is not practical. One would need to stock up on a life time supply. The membrane is prone to leak if too much pressure is applied. There may be other filters that are better.

However, having said all this if one can find an easy way to test for lead then we will definitely want to use it. So keep your eyes open.

Offered by Mike.