The Lead Water Supply Pipes Replacement Guide – INSUduct

Where is the Lead?

Awareness of the potential health problems caused by Lead in the water supply is growing, and this is an issue that must be faced as Lead is in effect a slow poison.The most common sources of Lead in drinking water are Lead pipes, taps, and fixtures – but where is it?.

In homes with Lead pipes that connect the home to the water main, these pipes are typically the most significant source of Lead in the water. If your property has been modernised since 1970 and all of the pipes from the water company's stop valve outside your home to the taps have been replaced, there should be no Lead pipe on your property. A good guide is that if your property was built before 1970 it may have Lead pipes and if it was built after 1970 it is unlikely to have Lead pipes.

Who is responsible for the pipework?

We can divide the pipework into 3 sections.

  1. The first section is the pipe that links the water main in the street to the stop valve which is located outside your property. This belongs to the water Company and is known as the communication pipe.
  2. The next section is the part of the pipe Leading from the stop valve outside your property to the entry point to your property. This is the responsibility of the property owner and known as the private or supply pipe. 
  3. The third section is all the plumbing inside the property and this is the responsibility of the property owner.

The only totally secure method to reduce Lead in the water supply is to remove or replace Lead supply pipes with modern plastic pipe. Traditionally, any Lead replacement program requires major excavations outside a property causing disruption within. This Results in mess and disturbance to property users over several days, and a high unit cost.

How can Disturbance, Time and Cost be minimised?

INSUduct is an innovative solution, to this problem. By bringing the supply pipe up the external face of the building and connecting to the internal plumbing above ground level – most Lead replacement operations can be completed within a couple of hours, without undue disruption to home-owners’/occupiers.

INSUduct is carefully fabricated to provide long lasting and effective thermal protection to water pipes and fittings in external situations. Exceeding British Standard 5422 and all relevant Water Regulations for frost protection, INSUduct has been used across the UK as part of Lead supply pipe replacement programmes. Using the INSUduct water pipe system, Lead water supply pipes can be replaced in under 2 hours, with no major excavations and minimal disruption.

Grant aid may be available to assist Lead pipe replacement programmes, contact local council offices for further information.

Detailed information for consumers on Lead in Drinking water can be found on the website -

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