Many local water authorities have put programmes in place to replace lead pipework to help ensure people have a safe water supply.

However, the section of pipe running from the boundary into your property is your responsibility. If this supply pipe is lead, then you must make the arrangements to for a replacement water mains, not the water authority.

How do you know if you need to replace your mains supply?


Lead Contamination in Water

The water you rely on can pick up lead particles from your supply pipe, even if the main supply in your area is lead-free. You can also pick up lead from internal plumbing in your home, if you have old, lead pipework.

This can mean that your domestic water supply and drinking water contains a higher proportion of lead than the recommended safe standard. The current European standard for lead in water is 10 microgrammes per litre.


Check Your Pipework

Are you confident you do not have lead pipes supplying your home with water?

You can check. This is a simple process. Firstly, if your home was built, or modernised, before 1970, you could well have lead pipework.

Now, have a look at the service pipe under or behind your kitchen sink. Unpainted lead pipes appear dull, grey and soft. You can gently scrape this surface with the edge of a coin. If the metal underneath is shiny and silvery, then this pipe is made of lead.

You may also have lead plumbing in other parts of your home. Check this the same way.


Reduce Your Risk of Lead Contamination

The longer water stands in pipes, the greater the risk of lead contamination. If water is standing in pipes overnight, or if you are away, then there is more chance of it picking up lead from your pipes.

So, first thing in the morning, or after any longer period where you haven’t used your water, run the cold water tap from your supply pipe – usually your kitchen tap.

Change any water left standing in your kettle every time you use it, because this lead can accumulate in re-boiled water.

For a long-term solution that will give you peace of mind about your water supply, consider having a replacement water mains.

This work is not nearly as drastic as it sounds. Using modern trenchless technology, we can replace your old, lead pipework with new, durable plastic pipes while minimising mess and disruption to your property.

The choice is yours when it comes to replacing your supply pipe. But if you want to guarantee your water quality, make the right choice and contact Pipeline Services today.