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Lead pipework and water filters

19 replies

Pannacotta · 21/04/2010 16:01

We have lead pipework coming into our Victorian house which is obviosuly not ideal, but we may not be able to change it (some of the land where the water pipes run was sold off so may be impossible to access/alter it).
Do water filters, such as Brita or built-in filters, remove most of the lead from drinking water?

Any advice much appreciated.

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rebl · 21/04/2010 16:42

We have the same problem. Most of the pipework is on our neighbours property. I've spoken to united utilities and they will move the stop tap for you (at a cost) to the road by your property and disconnect the exsisting one. You have to get someone to lay new pipe work from your house to the road and then united utilities will lay from the boundary to the new stop tap. Some of this is free, some you have to pay for. Worth calling them.

Sorry, haven't answered your question though have I! Don't know the answer to that.

Pannacotta · 21/04/2010 17:38

Thanks but it would be very tricky to re-lay all the pipe work as most of it would be running through neighbouring back gardens - our water supply comes from another road (parallel to our street) via the back of the house, just to complicate matters.

Hence the query re filters...

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Pannacotta · 22/04/2010 09:11

Anyone else?

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Mossop · 23/04/2010 08:21

Yes, they remove all but a trace. We use one for the same reason.

GentleOtter · 23/04/2010 08:35

A reverse osmosis filter should remove all traces. Under the sink units are about £130.

Pannacotta · 23/04/2010 13:16

Thanks, that is such a relief!
Any recommendations for good under-sink filters? I find Brita jugs a bit of a pain.

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GentleOtter · 23/04/2010 18:41

here We have the one at the top of the page and it cost £130. Extra filters are about £30.

Our water contains eColi and other nasties but this system copes really well with it.

Pannacotta · 24/04/2010 20:42

Thanks GentleOtter.
There isnt any info on the link about what is/isn't filtered (as far as I could see). Did you get some info with with filter itself?

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GentleOtter · 25/04/2010 08:19

You would be best to phone the company to get info and speak to Dr Dryden. The unit filtrates to a very fine micron size then we run it through a UV filter as well. (We use a belt and braces system as our water is from the hill).
You get a separate little tap with the unit and the pump is very quiet - it only goes when the tap is running.

I think cryptosporidium is one of the smallest contaminants, eColi is much bigger. We had to boil all our water for brushing teeth and bathing our children - which was a monumental task.

GentleOtter · 25/04/2010 08:27

I forgot to add that there is a grant to replace your lead pipework. Ask your local Environmental Health team to take a sample of your water and advise you about the grants.

Our pipes were all lead (some still are eg bathroom) but we had some of the external ones replaced.

Pannacotta · 25/04/2010 09:58

Thanks for that GO, didnt know there was a grant, will make some calls.

Must have been a real PITA boiling water for baths and teeth, was your water very contaminated?

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GentleOtter · 25/04/2010 10:13

It had (and still has at source) eColi, cryptosporidium, legionella and a few others. We must have bought hundreds of gallons of bottled water and used to fill up big containers from clean water sources.

We used a Belling tea urn to do big boilings for bathing the children and yes it was a pita.

We have built up a certain immunity to the eColi but I am super careful if people come to visit and need a cup of tea.

Here is a basic factsheet on lead pipes. I think the grant varies as to which area you are in and whether you own or rent. The water in your area can determine how much lead is leached into your supply.

stripeyknickersspottysocks · 25/04/2010 10:16

My local water company came and did a lead test free of charge as we have a lead supply pipe. They said that the level of lead was so low to not be a concern, so it may be worth getting your levels checked.

Pannacotta · 25/04/2010 11:24

Thats good to hear Stripey, will speak to Anglian Water tomorrow...
Thanks all, am feeling less panicky now - and quite lucky compared to you GentleOtter!!

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stripeyknickersspottysocks · 25/04/2010 16:33

It was Anglian Water who did my free test.

rebl · 25/04/2010 19:06

I didn't realise I could get the water tested for lead. I'll be on to them tomorrow and get that done before I get an estimate for getting ours all changed.

Pannacotta · 25/04/2010 20:55

I didnt know either, the plumber I had round to price it up didnt mention it to me...

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stripeyknickersspottysocks · 26/04/2010 12:16

I'm not suprised he didn't mention it, he knows if the levels are really low you're not going to replace the pipes. When I had my levels checked I spoke to the scientist in the lab about the result and he said he lived in a house with higher levels than mine and he wasn't bothered. So that put my mind at rest. Can't remember what the levels of mine were but they will tell you if its high or ok.

Pannacotta · 26/04/2010 14:05

Thanks stripey, much appreciated.

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