When water leaves our treatment works and water mains, it doesn’t contain lead. However, water can pick up traces of lead if it flows through old lead pipework. 

If you have lead pipes, either in your household plumbing, or connecting you to the mains water supply, there may be small amounts of lead in your water. The Department of Health advises that lead can be harmful if levels build up in the body.

If you're unsure about the amount of lead in your tap water, we'll test your water for free.
If you have lead in your water, here is what you can do about it:
How do I check if I have lead pipes?

If you live in an older property – for example if it was built before 1970 – you could have lead pipework. 


First thing to do is check your internal stop tap. They are usually found under the kitchen sink or in the bathroom. It can be made from different materials. If you can locate it and look at it, you may be able to work out what type of material it is made of by comparing it against the picture.


image of different coloured pipes


In order from left to right: lead, specialist barrier pipe (copper and plastic), plastic, copper. If your pipework is more modern, it might be blue and made of plastic.

What if I have lead pipes?

If you suspect you do have lead pipes, or lead solder on your copper pipes, our advice is to get them replaced as soon as you can.


Call us on 0345 782 0999 for advice and a free appointment to test your water for lead.


When you are replacing the lead pipes in and to your property a WaterSafe approved plumber will be able to offer help and advice, they should be able to explain the process and offer a quote.


In the meantime, there are steps you can take to reduce the amount of lead in your drinking water:

  • Before you drink, cook or clean your teeth run the cold tap first thing in the morning, to flush out water that has been standing in pipes overnight. 
  • Only use the cold kitchen tap for drinking and food preparation, as hot water can dissolve more lead.
  • Use approved fittings and equipment on your water system.
Who is responsible for replacing my water pipes?

The section of the pipe running from the water main to your private boundary (usually the outside stop tap) is OUR responsibility. 


Homeowners/landlords are responsible for the section running from the property boundary into your property and all the internal pipework in the property.


Search our website