Drinking water in England and Wales was rated as very high-quality last year, despite the challenges of the pandemic, and property owners are being encouraged to do their bit to keep it that way.
The annual drinking water quality report, published by the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI), shows drinking water in England and Wales is safe, reliable and meeting its stringent high standards.
However, it also shows many properties can still be affected by lead pipes, which are mostly found in older homes, and lead solder, which some plumbers are using illegally on plumbing for wholesome drinking water. WaterSafe, the national register for plumbers, and the Drinking Water Inspectorate are, therefore, encouraging homeowners and businesses with a plumber working in their property to ask them to check for lead water pipes.
The use of lead pipes in the UK was banned on new installations more than 30 years ago, as well as the use of lead solder on new and existing water pipes. This is because water supplied through lead pipes and used for drinking and cooking can create a harmful build-up of lead in the body.
Water companies can test for lead levels of in the water and offer advice on replacement. Water companies will often replace the stretch they are responsible for beyond your boundary free of charge.
The annual report by the Drinking Water Inspectorate shared one example of high levels of lead in the water tested at a care home, where an inspection by the local water company revealed lead solder had been used by an inexperienced plumber on the fittings, a practice which is illegal. Further information on this case is available in the September/October issue of Care Home Management [online] now
You can also test for lead in water yourself, via this video.