In Flint, Michigan, USA, the city is facing two huge challenges to getting its water supply, and its residents, back to health. Flint’s well-documented public health disaster involved the poor decision to save money by switching the city’s water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River. Lake Huron supplied treated water, whereas the water from the Flint River was actually polluted. This is only half the story however, because the thing that has really made a difference is Flint’s extensive network of lead supply pipes.

The corroded water from the Flint River, when passing through lead pipes, causes lead particles to come off into the water, contaminating it. Flint’s lead water supply pipework has left around 15 per cent of homes with water containing lead levels exceeding the US federal government’s safe recommendation. Some of these homes may be as much as 900 times above the limit. The only way to really eliminate the risk of water contamination is to replace the lead pipes.

Cleaning up the water supply using anti-corrosive agents is one thing, but replacing lead pipes is quite another. The estimated cost for doing this is in the region of $60 million, over a 15 year period.

The domestic outlook here in the UK is, thankfully, far less serious. Only houses built before 1970 are likely to have lead pipework. Many of the main utilities providers have had programmes of lead pipe replacement for the public network. However, it is the responsibility of a private householder to replace any lead pipework within a property’s boundary.

This doesn’t have to be hard. Firstly it’s a case of checking to see if you have lead pipework. Lead pipes are dull in appearance, if unpainted. If painted, you can scratch the surface and it should easily come off to reveal a silvery, metallic appearance underneath. If you’re at all unsure about your pipework, or if you can’t easily locate your pipes, you can call us to come and inspect your property to see if you need replacement lead supply pipes.

Pipeline Services has a team of industry experts on hand to investigate, diagnose, and replace lead pipework in homes. It’s a cost effective process and we operate quickly and efficiently, with the minimum of fuss. Don’t let your lead pipes weigh on your mind, call Pipeline Services today.