Lead Water Pipes

So how does lead get into drinking water? Well it can occur naturally in groundwater, but in the majority of instances old lead plumbing is responsible. Many smaller water pipes were made from lead and older properties often still have part or all of the underground supply pipe made from lead. 

In hard water areas the scale that forms on the inside of lead pipes can protect us from ingesting lead. However, soft water areas suffer from an increased liklihood of lead in the water supply. Water companies do treat the water with orthophosphate to reduce the problem, but lead can still build up in older pipes. 

Is lead harmful?

Lead can build up in the body over time. Children and pregnant women are at particular risk. Mental development can be affected and there can be a noticeable increase in behavioural problems. Exposure to lead is strictly controlled, but ingestion through drinking water is still prevalent.

Water contamination.

Lead is toxic and accumulates in the skeleton. Health effects include interference with the calcium metabolism and central nervous system.

Low water pressure?

Leaks from old pipes and calcification can occur in old lead pipes and will lead to low water pressure. Regardless of the mains network pressure, your lead pipe may be restricting the flow of water and may be exasperated by it's internal diameter.

How to check for lead pipes?

Firstly look at the pipe where it enters your home, normally by the stop tap. This is often under the sink or downstairs toilet. Scratch the surface with a knife and if it is lead you will see the shiny metallic properties of lead. If you are unsure, simply give us a call and we can check for you.


  • WIAPS approved groundworkers

  • Water safe registered

  • Friendly service throughout

  • Experts in re-instatement of tarmac, concrete and block paving

  • Accredited contractors

  • Minimal disruption

  • Faster, cleaner and cheaper than traditional trenching methods