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Lead Water Pipes - (Problems with your water supply?)

Why does it matter if my home has lead pipes?

When water is left standing in lead pipes microscopic particles dissolve into the water. Water Companies work hard to reduce the concentrations, they cannot be eliminated entirely. If your property has a lead supply pipe you should consider investing in a replacement service.

Changing your lead pipes for a modern, plastic (MDPE) water supply pipe is the only guaranteed way to eliminate the risk completely and is a far more cost-effective method than other techniques such as relining the pipes with epoxy resin.

How do I know if my pipes are lead?

Before 1970 most water pipes were made from lead and this included both supply pipes and communication pipes.  There are still many older properties where the underground service pipe between the boundary and the kitchen tap may be lead. If your property was built after 1970 it is unlikely that your service pipe will be lead. To make sure :

1. Find your internal stop tap. It will be under the kitchen sink, , in your cellar, downstairs toilet or garage.

2. Use a coin or key to gently scratch the surface of the pipe leading to the tap. If the pipe is lead it will be a dull grey colour on the outside and can be easily scratched to reveal shiny silver underneath. If tapped makes a dull sound.

We suggest replacing lead pipework. For an estimated cost please complete the enquiry form.

Other things to look for:

  • Check a few places – gives a true picture of what the pipes are made of
  • Take care not to disturb the pipe – this can increase the lead in the water
  • Look again – some household paints cover lead well
  • Pipes could be plastic (blue, black or white); Galvanised metal (dull with signs of rust) or copper

What should I do if I discover lead pipes in my home?

There are several things you can do to reduce the impact of lead in your drinking water. Firstly, flush your pipes before drinking and to only use cold water for cooking, drinking and baby formula. The longer the water has been standing in the pipes the more lead it may contain; this is especially true first thing in the morning. You could buy a filter or drink only bottled water.

Your next step is to contact Murphy Utilities using the enquiry form and arrange for your pipes to be replaced.