Lead exposure is an insidious threat – it takes time, but it can be seriously damaging to health. As a toxic substance, lead has a cumulative effect on the body, and it can cause kidney disorders, high blood pressure and behavioural problems. There have even been links between lead exposure and violent crime.
The shocking thing is that a significant number of houses in the UK still have lead supply pipes. There are parts of the water network that connect private properties up to the main supply that are lead, despite the modernisation of large parts of the network.
Unsafe Lead Levels
Lead can be damaging even at low levels. In fact, there is no safe level of exposure to lead. It is therefore surprising that lead supply pipes are still so prevalent in older properties – those built before 1970.
Children under the age of six are especially vulnerable. This is because while their brains are growing they have a higher rate of absorption; and exposure to lead can stunt development and cause behavioural issues and requirements for special educational needs.
Water companies do what they can to make sure tap water meets current safety standards, but they do not control the whole network, which is where the individual responsibilities of householders come in.
What You Must Do to Ensure a Safe Water Supply
Many water companies have their own modernisation programmes for the supply network, but they do not have jurisdiction over the private supply pipe within the boundary of a property.
They can encourage their domestic customers to replace their own lead supply pipes but they cannot force them to do so. And under current rules, the customer bears the whole cost of this replacement to their own private supply pipe.
Even with the health issues around lead poisoning, people can be reluctant to spend the money required to ensure they have a safe water supply.
However, with modern pipe replacement methods, commissioning a replacement for lead supply pipes is increasingly cost effective.
Ultimately the choice is with you, the individual consumer and householder. At Pipeline Services, we apply trenchless technology for replacement lead supply pipes, which reduces the cost, time and disruption.
Call us today and find out how you can ensure your water supply is free from contamination.