According to a survey of 2,000 property owners by WaterSafe, 68% of homeowners don’t know if they have potentially harmful lead water pipes in their property.
Water supplied through lead pipes can be bad for your health – especially for babies and children, whose development can be affected.
Julie Spinks, director of WaterSafe is urging property owners to check their homes and business premises for lead water pipes; something plumbing and heating installers can help with.
What do Lead Pipes Look Like?
Lead pipes are distinctly different to copper or plastic.
Unpainted they are dull grey in colour and have rounded swollen joints where they join other pipes.
A simple test to distinguish lead pipes is to scrape the surface gently with a coin – if you uncover shiny silver-coloured metal your pipes are likely to be lead.
Lead pipes are more common in older properties – in the UK, lead in plumbing has been banned for more than 25 years, this means properties built before 1970 are most likely affected.
Lead Pipes Need to be Replaced, but Who’s Responsible?
It is the homeowner’s responsibility to replace lead pipes should they find them.
Installers can advise their customers how to locate a water pipe, which usually enters a property through a kitchen cupboard or under the stairs.
Homeowners who believe their drinking water is affected by lead pipes should contact their water supplier, who can test the levels of lead and offer advice on replacing them.
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