Replacing lead pipes

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If we find a significant level of lead in your water supply, we will replace the lead parts of the pipe that belong to us, free of charge.

Even when lead pipes are present, the levels of lead in drinking water are normally low. However if you suspect that your home has lead pipes, you can ask us to test the water from the cold kitchen tap within your home through our Lead Pipe Replacement Scheme. As part of the replacement scheme, if elevated levels of lead are found in the pipes, we ask that you commit to replacing the lead pipework within your property boundary. We will replace any pipe that belongs to us.

If you are thinking about replacing your part of a lead supply pipe, please download the following application form and send it to us at:

Thames Water Utilities Ltd
Lead Policy Coordinator
Lead Pipe Replacement Scheme Applications
PO Box 286
Swindon
SN38 2RA

We will take a sample of the water first to see whether the levels of lead in your water supply are a cause for concern.

If you do not have access to a printer, please call us to arrange for an application form to be posted to you. Our lines are open 24 hours a day.

Lead pipe replacement scheme

The level of lead detected in the sample taken from your home will determine whether you are eligible for the free replacement of our lead communication pipe through our Lead Pipe Replacement Scheme. If the lead level detected is greater than the future 10 micrograms per litre (ug/l) lead standard we shall replace the communications pipe (our responsibility) to your property. We would recommend that you check and replace your lead pipework if required to ensure all lead is removed from the water supply.

Lead sample results Outcome

<10ug>

less than the lead standard

You will not qualify for the free replacement of our lead communication pipe. You may still ask us to replace our lead communication pipe but the property owner will be required to pay for this. You can also replace your lead supply pipe/internal plumbing if you wish.

>10ug/l

greater than the lead standard

You will qualify for the free replacement of our lead communication. We recommend that you replace your lead pipework to ensure all lead is removed from the water supply.

Replacing shared supply pipes

If you qualify under our lead pipe replacement scheme and you are on a shared supply pipe, you have two options:

  1. Arrange with your neighbours to jointly replace the whole length of lead shared supply pipe.  We will then replace the lead communication pipe.
  2. If your neighbours do not want to contribute towards the replacement of the  shared supply pipe, you can lay a new single supply pipe from your property to the point where the old lead supply pipe joins our communication pipe. This may involve crossing your neighbours property, and if so, you will need to obtain their agreement first. We will then replace the lead communication pipe and join to your new pipe.

Our planned replacement work

We also have a work programme to replace old lead pipes in areas where our monitoring suggests there are high levels of lead pipes. In such cases, we remove the section of pipe running from the water main to the property boundary – for which we are responsible – and install a new plastic pipe. This programme is agreed with the Drinking Water Inspectorate, who regulate the quality of drinking water.