What can I do to minimize the risk to me and my family?

If your home does not meet the above criteria, your chance of lead exposure from drinking water is extremely low. However, there are several tips you can follow to further reduce or even eliminate the chance. 

  • If a faucet has gone unused for more than six hours, flush it by running cold water from the tap for one to two minutes before using it for drinking or cooking. Faucets should be flushed individually. You can conserve water by capturing that initial running water for non-consumable purposes, such as watering plants, washing dishes, or flushing the toilet. Another way to save time and water is to fill a pitcher once the faucet has been flushed, and put it in your refrigerator for quick access to cold, clean water. Never cook with or drink water from the hot water tap. Hot water dissolves lead faster than cold water. If you need hot water, draw cold water from the tap and heat it on the stove or in the microwave. 
  • Never use hot tap water to make baby formula or cereal. 
  • Periodically remove loose debris from plumbing materials by removing faucet strainers/aerators from all taps and running the water for three to five minutes.

Show All Answers

1. Should Durham's water customers be concerned about lead in the drinking water?
2. How could lead get into the drinking water?
3. How would I know if my household plumbing was a problem?
4. What can I do to minimize the risk to me and my family?
5. What is Durham doing to eliminate/reduce exposure to lead in our drinking water?
6. Have the City's actions eliminated my risk/exposure to lead and copper?
7. What should I do if I suspect lead poisoning?
8. What if I need more information or want my water tested?
9. Who may I contact at the City if I still have questions about lead?