Friday 21 February 2020

Drinking water firms to check their network for lead pipes

Photo: Odi Busman

The 10 Dutch drinking water companies have pledged to run checks on their entire networks in an effort to find any remaining lead pipes so they can be removed.

The companies are responsible for a combined eight million connections and spot checks suggest that up to 1,500 may need renewing, broadcaster NOS reported.

A connection can link to multiple homes and home owners and landlords are responsible for the pipes in the property itself. In total, some 100,000 to 200,000 properties are thought to still have lead pipes, according to research by the Dutch health council.

The water authority umbrella group Vewin told broadcaster NOS that nearly all lead piping has already been replaced and the remaining bits are in hard-to-reach locations such as in gardens and under pavements.

The operation to remove the last stretches of lead will cause problems for residents because gardens and sidewalks will need to be dug up, the spokesman said.

The big Dutch cities have already been checking their property for lead pipes, and several schools and daycare centres have been told not to give tap water to children.

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