Report No DWI0639

FLUSHING AT THE CONSUMER'S TAP AS A MEANS OF REDUCING DRINKING WATER LEAD LEVELS LEAD IN POTABLE WATER TECHNICAL NOTE No. 2

DWI0639

NOV 1980

SUMMARY

  1. This report has been prepared by the Water Research Centre to summarize the available data on the likely effectiveness and cost of flushing as a means of reducing drinking water lead levels.
  2. For the purposes of this report,flushing is defined as the drawing off of water from the tap by consumers, preferably for some useful purpose, before the drawing of water for drinking, cooking or preparing babies' feeds.
  3. The available data suggest that flushing at the consumer's tap could be an effective low cost means of reducing drinking water lead levels, but other factors have to be taken into account before a water undertaking recommended such a flushing policy in any particular area.
  4. The data presented are used to suggest what advice might be given to consumers by a water undertaking where it decided to implement a flushing policy.
  5. It is generally accepted that flushing may offer an interim solution in areas where high drinking water lead levels are found, but that it should not be relied upon as a long term solution. This view has been endorsed by the Joint Committee on Medical Aspects of Water Quality.

Copies of this report may be available as an Acrobat pdf download under the 'Pre 2000 Reports' heading on the DWI website.