Scottish homeowners urged to check for lead pipes

27 August 2019

Article: 53/3409

The plumbing approval register, Watersafe, has urged owners of Scottish homes built before 1970 to check if their water pipes are made of lead.

The installation of lead plumbing has been banned in the UK for more than 25 years. Lead dissolving into drinking water can be harmful if it builds up in the body, especially for babies and children, whose development can be affected.

Research by WaterSafe shows nearly two-thirds of homeowners in Scotland have never checked to see if they have lead water pipes.

The annual drinking water quality report, published by the Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland (DWQR) earlier this month, shows drinking water in Scotland is of high quality, with 99.90% of samples meeting the required standards, though it also shows that drinking water in some homes is still being affected by lead pipes, which are mostly found in properties built before 1970.

Nine lead failures were picked up during Scottish Water’s routine tests at customers’ taps in 2018, with lead pipes in the home’s plumbing being found in all cases.

Replacing lead plumbing inside homes, and to the property boundary, is the responsibility of the homeowner. WaterSafe’s research shows only half of households are aware of this.

Source: Scottish Water, 22 August 2019