Homeowners have been encouraged to check if their water pipes are made of lead, following research raising awareness of the dangers of lead plumbing.

The use of lead plumbing has been banned in the UK for over 25 years after concerns arose around lead dissolving into drinking water. Lead can be dangerous if it builds up the body, which can be particularly harmful for the development of babies and children.

Research from WaterSafe, a national accreditation body for competent and qualified plumbers in the UK, shows around two-thirds of homeowners in Scotland have never checked whether they have lead water pipes. 

Homeowners and renovators of projects can seek help from approved plumbers to identify and replace lead pipes. 

WaterSafe is now working in partnership with Scottish Water and the Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland to raise awareness of lead water pipes.

Awareness Is On The Rise

The research reiterates the importance for homeowners to identify lead pipes and take steps to replace them, helping to keep drinking water fresh and healthy. Lead pipes are mostly found in homes built before 1970.

It is the responsibility of homeowners to ensure that lead plumbing is replaced, although WaterSafe’s research revealed that only half of households are aware of this. 

Scottish Water were keen to point out though that awareness of lead pipes is on the rise, with hundreds more customers contacting Scottish Water in 2018 for advice on lead pipes and free tests. 

Julie Spinks, director of WaterSafe, said: “We’re encouraging homeowners who have an approved plumber working in their home to ask them to take a couple of minutes to check for lead pipes and, if they need replacing with copper or plastic ones, to obtain a number of quotes to get them replaced.”

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