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Posted: Friday 25th September 2015

SPECIALLY developed ‘no dig’ technology reduces the risk of lead dissolving into the water supply in older buildings and homes by restoring not replacing lead pipes, experts from Pipe Restoration Services said today.

Up to 40% of properties in the UK are supplied with water through lead service pipes - the main contributor of dissolved lead in drinking water. Houses and buildings built before 1970 are most likely to have lead pipes.

The legal limit of lead in drinking water was reduced from 25 micrograms per litre to 10 micrograms in 2013. Yet, in some parts of the UK, the new standard is still not being met.

Lead is a cumulative poison and children are particularly vulnerable as it affects both their physical and intellectual development.

Traditional solutions such as phosphate dosing and the replacement of lead pipes have proven costly and disruptive. Estimates put the cost of replacing all lead pipes in the UK at between £8 billion and £10 billion.

ePIPE technology from Pipe Restoration Services is a more cost-effective alternative as disruption to existing plumbing can be kept to a minimum, cutting the time and cost involved.

The ePIPE process uses a lining material with a short 2hr cure time, the fastest in the industry, resulting in a quick return to normal service and little disruption. Special adaptors for internal and external stop taps provide access to the ends of the pipe without the need to cut into it.

The ePIPE coating goes beyond legal lead limits after application and is the first lining material and process of its kind to meet the stringent requirements of both the Water Regulatory Advisory Scheme (WRAS) and the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) for use of in all public water supplies.

Approval means the lining process can be used on any water company or privately owned water services and internal pipework to address lead contamination issues and repair leaks.

There is no lead in water when it leaves the water treatment works, however lead can be picked up by the water if the service pipe is made of lead, or if internal lead pipework and lead-based soldered pipe joints are present.

Over half (58%) of families with children under 16 live in homes built before 1970 according to research into UK drinking water habits.

The majority (90%) of those questioned said their children drank from the kitchen cold tap on a daily basis. Yet one in three (34%) were unaware what their pipes were made of.

Tony Hanks from Pipe Restoration Services, said: “The problem of lead in water has not gone away and the recommended solutions are too costly and disruptive.

“Our goal is to tackle the issue head on and go beyond lead compliance. We can offer property owners a longer term, more sustainable, solution than either replacement or dosing alone can provide.”

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