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I would like to find out more about lead. Can you help?

Where does the lead come from?

There is no lead in your water when it leaves our treatment works. However, in some areas the communication pipe, supply pipe and internal plumbing of a home can be made of lead, which may result in a higher level of lead being present in your tap water.

If your home was built after 1970 or if you have modernised your home by replacing the water pipes (including the supply pipe), there should be no lead in your property. Homes built before 1970 may have lead pipes. If you are unsure, you can find out by locating the pipe that leads to your kitchen tap, sometimes called the rising main. When a lead pipe is scraped gently with a knife, a shiny silver-coloured mark will appear.

To ensure that the water we supply is of the highest quality, we carry out thousands of tests every year at our customers' kitchen taps. If we identify any areas with higher levels of lead, we carry out treatment during our processing, so that less lead is able to dissolve into the water as it passes through the pipes. This treatment has been very successful and our monitoring confirms that the vast majority of tests comply with the current drinking water standard.

Find out more about Lead 

The government has set the standard for lead in water at 10 micrograms per litre (one microgram is equivalent to one millionth of a gram).

I am still concerned, what can I do?

We are confident that for the vast majority of homes the level of lead in the water is well below the government standard. If you do have a lead pipe, letting the tap run for a few seconds before drawing water for drinking purposes will reduce contact with the pipe and, help to reduce any concentration of lead in the water.

Further information can be obtained from the Drinking Water Inspectorate, which can also provide helpful guidance on other common water quality issues, go to the DWI website at

However, if you are still worried about lead in the water supply of your home, we can arrange for your water to be tested. Click here for details on testing for lead