Report No DWI0413

SAMPLING OF DRINKING WATER TO ESTIMATE POPULATION EXPOSURE TO LEAD

A paper produced for the DOE Lead in Potable Water Sub-Committee

DWI0413

Sept 1981

SUMMARY

As part of the continuing programme of research into the health aspects of trace metals in drinking water the Water Research Centre, under contract to the Department of the Environment, is investigating the problems of sampling for lead in tap-water.

The aim of the work is to develop a reliable, practicable and economical procedure for sampling drinking water in such a way that the water-lead exposure of typical inhabitants of a particular house or water supply zone can be estimated with known statistical tolerance,

Existing data on household water use patterns and stagnation curves is described. Manually recorded data on water use patterns is compared with a new body of better data recorded automatically in several houses using water meters, with electrical output, coupled with data-loggers,

The report supports the concept of fixed stagnation time sampling as a way of estimating exposure to lead in drinking water, but further work is needed to justify this approach.

Proposals are put forward:

    1. To conduct a national survey to derive an estimate of the UK population distribution of household inter-use stagnation times.
    2. To carry out further experiments, using automatic samplers, to study stagnation curves in occupied houses.
Copies of this report may be available as an Acrobat pdf download under the 'Pre 2000 Reports' heading on the DWI website.