Lead has been found to be harmful for our health, which means it's important to know if you're exposed.
When water leaves our treatment works and water mains, it doesn’t contain any lead. However, water can pick up traces of lead if it flows through old lead pipework.
Lead can be found in the pipework which goes from the water main to the inside of your home. Lead can also be found in brass fittings and lead-based solder used on copper pipes.
Lead is soluble. That means when water runs through lead pipes, lead could dissolve into the water.
One way to find out is to use the good old 'scrape test'.
Go to the water supply pipe under the kitchen sink and gently scrape the pipe with a penny.
If this causes a shiny, silver mark, your pipes are made of lead.
The most common types of pipe are copper, plastic and iron.
Copper is bright, but over time dulls to a brown colour.
Iron is a very hard, dark material, so the scrape test shouldn't cause shiny marks.
Plastic, which can vary in colour but is often blue, grey or black.
First things first, don't panic. There are ways to reduce the amount of lead in your water.
Of course, the best way to reduce the risk is to replace lead pipes with a new and modern pipe. We recommend swapping to plastic or copper.
If you do choose to change your pipes, always get a reliable plumber. Check for reliable plumbers at watersafe.org.uk
In the meantime, you can also: