The U.S. EPA recommends the following steps:
• Flush your pipes before drinking - The more time the water sits in your home’s pipes, the more lead it may contain. Any time water in a particular faucet has not been used for six hours or longer, flush the cold water pipes by running the water until it becomes as cold as it will get. This could take as little as 30 seconds or up to three minutes. To save water, use the water you flush out for watering plants.
• Use cold water for cooking and drinking - Use only water from the cold-water tap for drinking, cooking, and especially for making baby formula. Hot water is likely to contain higher levels of lead. Run cold water until it becomes as cold as it will get. Boiling water will not get rid of lead contamination.
• Use water filters or treatment devices - Many water filters and water treatment devices are certified by independent organizations for effective lead reduction. Devices that are not designed to remove lead will not work. Verify the claims of manufactures by contacting National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International at 800-NSF-8010 or visiting www.nsf.org. Some water filters that remove lead also remove fluoride. Residents with children may wish to discuss fluoride replacement with a dentist.