Best Water Filters for Lead + How to Remove Lead from Water
The water crisis in Flint, Michigan brought forth the matter of lead in drinking water to the national conversation. As will be explained after the product reviews, lead can bring a wide array of physical and mental issues to those who consume too much of it. In the United States, it is not uncommon for well water to have lead in it, as well as some municipal water sources. This article by the CDC about the incidence of lead in drinking water tells you most of what you need to know.
A high incidence of lead in your drinking water can cause your children to have a damaged nervous system, cause and worsen brain disorders, cause short stature, cause impaired hearing and weaken their immune system. For adults, you can have kidney failures, hypertension, reproductive problems, and memory loss. If you are pregnant, lead in your water can cause certain issues both during your pregnancy and to your child after birth.
Lead is one of the most toxic compounds found in water supplies, but it can often be easily treated with a powerful water filter. This is why this list can be especially useful to anyone dealing with the harmful effects of lead in their home. Lead-free water can be life-changing. It will not only help your health but it will also get you better-tasting water and make you and your family drink more water and stay hydrated. So we have put together this buying guide that will help you figure out how you can take care of your water in your home!
In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:
Best Water Filters for Lead + How to Remove Lead from Water – Overview
1. Frizzlife Under Sink Water Filter System
- [Two-stage Advanced Water Purifier With 0.5 Micron]: The Frizzlife MK99 Water Filtration System includes a TWO-STAGE High precise compound filter, which has a unique technology that removes over...
The Frizzlife Under Sink Water Filter System is a great lead-removing under-the-sink filter system. Unlike its countertop counterparts, you are allowed to attach this water filtration system to your fridge and even in your bathroom and use it as a shower filter. It is a two-stage filtration system that removes up to 99,99 percent of lead as well as sediment and other harmful chemicals and removes particles as small as 0,5 microns, all while keeping beneficial minerals in your drinking water so you can keep the health benefits that minerals such as calcium and magnesium bring to you.
This water filter is both eco-friendly as well as budget-friendly, and installation should be easy to get through DIY. The only issues we see with this system are that it is not an NSF (National Science Foundation) certified product and that it has been found to leak at times.
Features of the Frizzlife Under Sink Water Filter System:
- Under the sink filter system
- You can attach it to your fridge and even the bathroom
- Easy enough installation
- No need to turn off the water supply when installing it
- Two-stage filtration system
- Keeps beneficial minerals in your drinking water
- Removes up to 99,99 percent of lead and other harmful chemicals
- Removes particles as small as 0,5 microns
- Not certified by NSF
- The filter is prone to leaking
2. Filtrete Maximum Under Sink Water Filtration System
- MAXIMUM LEVEL FILTRATION - This system reduces 99% lead, 99% microbial cysts, 97% chlorine taste and odor, plus 0.5 microns of sand, sediment, rust, and soil
The Filtrete Maximum Under Sink Water Filtration System, similar to the water filter mentioned above, can remove 99,99 percent of lead and can remove particles as small as 0,5 microns. It is easily installed and is delivered with all necessary parts so you can put this product together yourself. This water filter is NSF certified and has a high water flow rate.
You will only need to replace the filters on this product every six months. There are certain problems with this product. Reviewers have mentioned that this water filter might leak at times. This product also does not have an auto-shutoff feature, meaning that your water supply must be manually turned off when installing or replacing the filter cartridge.
Features of the Filtrete Maximum Under Sink Water Filtration System:
- Removes 99,99 percent of lead
- Removes particles as small as 0,5 microns
- Easy installation with all necessary parts delivered with the purchase
- NSF certified
- High water flow rate
- Replacement filters are needed every 6 months
- No auto-shutoff feature
- Prone to leaking
3. Brita 36396 Monterey
- This BPA-free Monterey water pitcher is easy to fill, fits in most fridges and can hold 10 cups of water, enough to fill 3 24-ounce reusable water bottles
The Brita 36396 Monterey is a water filter pitcher that can remove the lead in your drinking water. This pitcher has a capacity of 10 cups of water and can be taken anywhere with you – a hotel room, a friend’s home, where you might be worried there is a high incidence of lead in your water. This product removes lead, cadmium, mercury, and other compounds in your water.
This water filter pitcher has a thick glass construction that makes for a very impact-resistant product. It is easy to fill and boasts a lockable lid that can eliminate spills. This product is WQA (Water Quality Association) certified and contains a built-in filter change reminder that is quite useful and not often found on water filter pitchers. Although this filter pitcher is said to have a lifespan of six months, reviewers have said that it actually lasts anywhere from two months to one week.
Features of the Brita 36396 Monterey:
- 10-cup water pitcher
- Reduces lead, cadmium, mercury, and other compounds in the water
- Thick glass construction
- WQA certified
- Built-in filter change reminder
- Easy to fill and lockable lid to eliminate spills
- Impact-resistant glass pitcher
- Brita claims a 6-month filter life, but some families have claimed anywhere from a 2-month filter life to a week-long filter life
4. iSpring WGB22B-PB 2-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System
- Protect Your Family and Household Appliance from Lead and More: Our 2nd stage filter (FCRC25B) lead removal filter is specially designed for reducing lead. This filter features a high capacity of...
The iSpring WGB22B-PB 2-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System is a point-of-entry water filtration system (meaning it is installed at the main water line and filters through the first water entering your home. It uses natural materials in the filter and makes sure that beneficial minerals such as calcium and magnesium stay in your water after the filtration process. This product has a high water flow rate and can filter up to 150 thousand gallons of water. This water filter system should last you around a year for a family of four people. The only downside to this system is that it can be a less budget-friendly option than other products on the market, which means it can be not a very accessible option for families with a lower income.
Features of the iSpring WGB22B-PB 2-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System:
- A point-of-entry water filtration system
- Natural materials in its filter
- Beneficial minerals stay in your water
- High flow rate
- It can filter up to 150 thousand gallons of water
- It should last a year or so for an average family of four
- The product can be expensive
- Requires installation at the primary water supply source
5. Brita Tap Water Filter System
- Basic Brita faucet water filter attaches to your standard faucet making tap water cleaner and great-tasting; filtration system is easy to install; no tools required
The Brita Tap Water Filter System is another Brita product on this list. This one is, however, not a water filter pitcher and can be directly connected to the spout of your faucet. This product removes lead, chromium, and others. It is easy to install, portable and lightweight.
There is an LED light notification that will let you know when you are supposed to change the filter on your system. It should last you for up to four months of continuous use. There is only one downside to this system, and it is that the O-ring seal on this water filter system will lose its integrity.
Features of the Brita Tap Water Filter System:
- Easy installation
- Portable and lightweight
- Connects directly into the spout of your faucet (faucet mount)
- Removes lead, chromium, and others
- LED indicator light notification for replacing the filter
- It can last up to 4 months of continuous use
- After some time the O-ring seal loses its integrity
The Frizzlife Under Sink Water Filter System is the winning lead-removal filter system on this list. It is an under the sink model that can be attached to your fridge and your showerhead too. It is easy to install and can remove 99,99 percent of lead and other contaminants, as well as particles as small as 0,5 microns. This is a two-stage, eco-friendly and budget-friendly system and our absolute favorite on this list.
Bonus Tip: Here is a video on iron in your water and how it is fixed.
Why Would You Want To Remove Lead From Your Water?
Lead is an especially harmful product. It can pose a threat to both your physical health and your mental health, so if you live somewhere where there are considerable levels of lead in your water, you should consider taking certain steps toward lead removal. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), for young children, there are 36 different learning disabilities and behavioral disorders that exposure to lead can cause. Both long-term and short-term exposure to lead can damage their nervous system, cause and worsen brain disorders, cause short stature, cause impaired hearing and weaken their immune system.
For pregnant women, exposure to lead can result in premature births and cause other types of birth complications as well as issues to the baby itself once it is born. For healthy as well as unhealthy adults, exposure to lead can either cause or worsen a myriad of conditions such as kidney failures, hypertension, reproductive problems, memory loss, and more. It can be especially harmful if you or someone in your family is immunocompromised.
How Does Lead Get In Your Water?
Lead gets in your water supply through your pipes. You can have both lead pipes and lead fixtures instead. Over time, either due to water running through your pipes over several years or other chemicals present in your water, coatings of lead will fall off into your water supply and contaminate it. Before you get a water filter in order to solve the problem, you should try and ascertain the level of lead that is in your water, so you can see how strong of a water filter you should be getting, and whether you would need one only for your kitchen, or for your whole house.
You can get your water supply tested either through a private utility company or the government. There are even some home testing kits so you can DIY. You can try changing your water supply before you opt for purchasing a water filter. This might not always be possible.
How Do Lead Water Filters Work?
A water filter system that removes lead uses one of two methods – it uses either a physical and chemical filter that eliminates not only lead but other harmful contaminants too, such as chloramine, cysts, fluoride, VOCs, and particulate. All these other contaminants can also cause you a series of physical and mental problems, such as gastrointestinal illnesses, nervous system or reproductive effects, and chronic diseases such as cancer. So it is always a plus that your water filter not only removes lead but other impurities too. A physical filter blocks the contaminants with a physical barrier such as a membrane. The best examples of products like this are reverse osmosis systems.
This type of product uses a semipermeable membrane that gets rid of lead as well as mercury, iron, and other types of heavy metals. A chemical filter uses simple chemical reactions in order to remove even smaller contaminants than physical filter systems. A good example of a chemical filter is a distillation system. A distillation system boils the cold water until it turns to steam. Since both lead and other types of contaminants have a higher boiling point than water, they stay behind and get filtered out. After this, the steam gets collected and turned back into a liquid. This filtration method also eliminates the beneficial minerals in your water, however.
Lastly, there are certain whole house filtration systems that use both chemical and physical barriers in order to eliminate both lead and other contaminants, such as activated carbon filters. Whole house water filters with activated carbon filters are some of the most popular water filters on the market. The carbon block component acts as a magnet for lead, heavy metals, contaminants, and particles. Then a chemical reaction filters out smaller and more microscopic particles.