Berkey Water Filters Europe have just released the latest round of independent lab testing done on the Black Berkey filters for the removal of lead from drinking water. As expected the Black Berkey filters performed very well and achieved a more than 99% level of lead removal.
The use of lead in water pipes and plumbing has been prohibited in the UK and the EU since the 1970s. If the kitchen has been modernised since the 1970s then the presence of lead piping is also highly unlikely. In pre-1970 buildings it is possible that the service pipe connecting the property to the mains as well as the interior plumbing may be made of lead or contain lead solder. In hard water areas this issue is partly mitigated by the build up of limescale on the pipes, in soft water areas there is a higher probability of lead entering the water supply.
If you suspect that there is lead piping in your house the easiest way to check is whether there are lead pipes leading to your kitchen tap. Lead piping is soft, looks dull grey and can be scraped with a coin to show the shiny surface underneath. Most water companies in the UK offer free water testing for the presence of lead and they can also tell you if there is a history of lead pipe removal in your area.
In the event of lead piping or solder in your house the obvious thing to do is to have it removed as soon as possible. If for whatever reason this is not possible in the short term then the next best line of defence against lead in your water is of course a Berkey water filter system. Berkey water filters do not only remove lead but a wide range of contaminants unfortunately commonly found in our drinking water such as pharmaceuticals, glyphosate, chloramines etc. For a complete overview of the independent lab testing commissioned by the Berkey manufacturer see: Berkey Lab Tests.