The only way to know whether your tap water contains lead is to have it tested. You cannot see, taste, or smell lead in your drinking water. Proper sampling is required to obtain a valid result. Note: A single test for lead in drinking water may not be representative of the level at all times or of the average over time.
It is important to test all of the drinking water faucets in your home, especially those that provide water for drinking, cooking, and preparing juice and infant formula. Lead in drinking water can be a very localized problem and can vary from tap to tap. It is a good idea to test all faucets that provide water for consumptive purposes.
If you don’t know whether your tap water contains lead, you should have the water tested by a certified laboratory. Lead testing costs approximately $30 to 45 per sample. Two certified laboratories that can assist you with the process of properly collecting a water sample and submitting it for analysis are listed below:
First Environmental Laboratory
1600 Shore Road
Naperville, IL 60563
If you believe that your child has been exposed to high levels of lead in drinking water, get your child tested to determine the lead levels in his or her blood. A family doctor or pediatrician can perform a blood test for lead and provide information about the health effects of lead. Talk to and follow the advice of your physician or your child's pediatrician about lead hazards and blood lead levels. State, city, or county departments of health can also provide information about how you can have your child's blood tested for lead. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that public health actions be initiated when the level of lead in a child's blood is 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL) or more.