With more than two-thirds of homeowners not knowing if their water is supplied through potentially harmful lead water pipes, WaterSafe, the UK register for approved plumbers, is urging everyone to take the scratch test on lead pipes and its something we are recommending here at Ability.
A recent survey of 2000 homeowners by WaterSafe revealed 68% don’t know if they have potentially harmful lead water pipes in their property. We recently have to remove a section of leaking lead water main for one of our customers in Sevenoaks.
Water used for drinking and cooking that has been supplied through lead pipes can lead to a build-up of lead in the body. This can be bad for health – especially for babies and children, whose development can be affected. So contact us here at Ability plumbing and heating and we will do everything in our knowledge and capabilities to help you with lead water pipes.
A further 53% of homeowners don’t know that it’s their responsibility to replace lead pipes they find in their home. Watersafe say they need to replace them with copper or plastic ones approved for tap water.
Julie Spinks, Director of WaterSafe, says: “We’re asking property owners to do one thing during Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (Oct 21-27) – check your homes and business premises for lead water pipes, especially if you have an older property. It’s quite simple – find the water pipe where it enters your home, which is usually in a kitchen cupboard or under the stairs. Lead pipes are normally dull grey and soft and if you scrape the surface gently with a coin you’ll see the shiny silver-coloured metal underneath. It’s quite distinct from copper or plastic. If the pipes are painted, just scrape the paint off too.”
At Ability, we are qualified in water regulations and unvented water safety. The use of lead in plumbing has been banned in the UK for more than 25 years, so it’s houses built before 1970 that are most likely to have lead pipes.
Homeowners who find they do have lead pipes should contact their water supplier, who can test the levels of lead in the drinking water and offer advice on replacing them. so call Ability and book an engineer to check your lead water pipes.
WaterSafe recommends employing an approved plumber from its UK register to replace pipes, as they are fully qualified in the water supply regulations and are promoted by water companies to keep drinking water safe in homes. Find local, approved plumbers using a postcode search at watersafe.org.uk