Water Supply Industry Interpretations and Advice

  • Area of Interest : Installation
  • Topic : Lead pipe
  • Title : Repairing lead pipe
  • Clause Reference : Regulation 2(4)
  • Reference Number : I25
  • Decision Date : February 2010

Whilst repairs using new lead pipe are prohibited under Schedule 2 paragraph 2 (1) of the the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations, Byelaws in Scotland, and Guidance G2.1, and customers should be encouraged to replace such pipework, it is permissible to make repairs to lead supply pipes which were legally installed prior to its prohibition and the introduction of the Regulations/Byelaws.

Where damage is restricted to small areas on internal above ground lead pipe repairs using lead free solder are acceptable. For all other types of installation or where the damage is more extensive pipework should be cut out and replaced with a suitable alternative pipe material or alternatively, where appropriate, by means of a repair clamp with a suitable material approved for wholesome water use. Customers should be aware that repairs to lead pipes, especially those exposing the water to a freshly cut lead surface, may temporarily result in raised lead concentrations, and so should be flushed before use whilst elevated lead levels occur.