When you think you might have a Lead issue in your water supply..

I was with an upstate Realtor today – very nice, and she was mentioning how her client nearly bought a home in New Rochelle. I asked her what happened? She replied that the inspector informed her that there is probably a lead water main (yes, throughout New Rochelle unless you have installed new piping from your home to the water main or have taken preventitive measures), there could be lead in the water pipe . Upon hearing this piece of info, her clients freaked out, and are possibly deciding against the purchase.

That was a shame… on three counts….


1 – Because the inspector was correct in mentioning the lead water mains , but seemingly failed to give her information about those lead water mains, and how over the years minerals can build up, can corrode the interior of the lead pipe, and then the lead doesn’t leach out (as much)..Failing that, if you run the water for several minutes first thing in the morning, and do not use the hot water for drinking purposes, even utilizing a filter, then your chances of getting lead poisoning diminish also.

2) Because the listing agent didn’t suggest that she simply test the water to see if it poses a threat…

3) That she (the buyer’s agent) did not think to suggest testing the water either..If she had tested the water in the house, and it came back fine… then the clients would have felt more comfortable in moving forward. It is our responsibility to offer the resources to our clients where they can get important information… (I was always taught to be the resource but not the source of information) …. It usually costs around $4-5000 to replace the pipe leading to the water main. While I wouldn’t tell a family not to worry.. I would gently suggest they test the water and then make an informed, intelligent decision…

The word plumbing actually is derived from the latin word for ‘lead.” There have been many articles about the use of lead in the water mains, it was used by the Romans in their aqueducts, and widely used in the 19th and early 20th Century in America, causing lead poisoning in Union soldiers. Some claim it didn’t affect the Romans as they had high levels of calcium build-up in the piping coating the lead, and so it didn’t pose a threat, and yet others state that lead poisoning helped cause the downfall of the Roman Empire…. Interesting reading… here is a link to a site on lead piping..


While I was waterproofing one side of my home, my mason’s workman broke our lead pipes to the water main, and so I know firsthand the cost of replacing the pipe…. but that is another story!


About Gay E. Rosen

Gay E. Rosen is a Top Realtor in the Larchmont and New Rochelle (Lower Westchester) area. She is diligent, caring, driven and thorough (with a sense of humor).Utilize her expertise. Call her!
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