Reducing lead risk: top tips

If you have lead water pipes, the best way to safeguard health is to get them replaced by a plumber. There are also a few simple things you can do to minimise the health risks:

Run the water: when you wake up in the morning, run the cold tap in the kitchen to flush out any water that has been standing in the pipes overnight. A sink full should do it. You can always use this water for your plants.

Flush the loo: flushing the loo will also do the job of clearing any water that has been standing in the pipes overnight.

Use the kitchen tap: only use water from the cold tap in the kitchen for drinks and food preparation.

Bottled water: if you decide to give babies and infants bottled water, or use it for preparing infant formula, check the label to make sure it contains less than 200 mg per litre of sodium (Na).

Do not disturb: try not to disturb or knock lead pipes as this can increase the lead in your water.

Boiling the water doesn’t help! Be aware that boiling the water doesn’t remove lead content.

Replace your pipes: if you decide to replace your lead water pipes, including your underground supply pipe, we can help you get reconnected to our network for free. Find out more about the lead pipe replacement scheme.

30 metre rule

If your supply pipe (the underground pipe which brings water into your home) is longer than 30 metres, measured from your property boundary to the building, the advice to run the water each morning may not be effective in removing lead. In these circumstances, it’s worth giving serious consideration to getting your pipes replaced.

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