CONTAMINATION OF WATER BY DOMESTIC PLUMBING FITTINGS (M2186C} FINAL
Report No DWI0088
Copies of this report may be available as an Acrobat pdf download under the 'Pre 2000 Reports' heading on the DWI website.
- This report gives details of an investigation into the
contamination of potable water by lead arising from the corrosion
of soldered joints.
The work was undertaken as part of a contract from the Department of
the Environment to investigate the potential of materials used in
plumbing systems to contaminate the supply.
- Because of the galvanic stimulation of the corrosion, it was
found that even small areas of solder, exposed in the bore of the
tube, could be expected to produce unacceptably high levels of lead
given sufficient residence time of the water in the pipe.
- The recommendations of this report are:
- leaded solders should be prohibited for use in systems carrying
potable water. To effectively enforce this ban it would be necessary
to insist that either no joints can be made with leaded solders
(which would include those in central heating systems), or that only
compression fittings can be used in potable water systems.
- the detailed description on how to make a soldered joint, given
in Copper Development Association publication TN22 should be more
widely publicised (See Appendix VIII)
- regular flushing of new plumbing systems, to reduce contamination
problems from materials of construction, including where used leaded
solder joints should be encouraged.