Lead is a chemical element that belongs in the carbon group. The heavy metal is soft, malleable and toxic. The toxic bit is quite important and a major concern. Even at low levels, lead may cause a variety of health effects including behavioral problems and learning disabilities. Children six years old and under are most at risk because this is when the brain is developing. The primary source of lead exposure for most children is lead-based paint in older homes. Lead in drinking water can add to that exposure.
There are plenty of uses for lead. Most people know of it as being a primary component in paint. The use of lead paint has largely been discontinued, aside from sporadic news of low quality toys being painted with lead paint. What many do not know is that lead was also used for plumbing materials not very long ago. If you are using an old plumbing system, the risk for lead contamination in water is higher. It is in this case wherein water analysis is very important.
Regular testing of water helps immediate detection of lead and other contaminants that can make the water unsafe for drinking. There are water filtration systems that removes lead from the water to make it safe.
Water that has been sitting in the pipe for a long time might contain more lead. As such, it is recommended that the water be flushed from thirty seconds to two minutes depending on how long the water was sitting.