Lead pipes


There are no lead water mains in use within our region. When drinking water leaves our treatment works it is free from lead.

However, there may be lead pipework from the water main into and within your home, particularly if it was built before 1970. Other pipes such as galvanised iron can also release lead into the water.

Therefore, on the journey to your tap, drinking water may pick up lead as the water comes into contact with these sources.

Your health and lead

As lead is a well established toxic substance, it is sensible to consume as little lead as possible particularly if you are pregnant or in the case of young children and bottle fed babies because the young are the most at risk.

To protect the health of the young, there are strict regulations governing the maximum amount of lead allowed in drinking water - 10 μg/l (micrograms per litre or parts per billion).

It is unusual for water from taps in our region to exceed this limit but where we find levels in excess of the regulatory standard we will investigate the cause.

A frequently asked question regarding lead and health is as follows: “I’ve been drinking water from the tap for years, how will it have affected me? ”We would advise, that according to the World Health Organisation, the majority of lead is ingested into the body from sources other than drinking water.

Nevertheless, the UK government body states the following: “It is very unlikely that the general population will be exposed to a level of lead high enough to cause adverse health effects.”