HC Deb 28 July 1982 vol 28 cc597-8W
Mr. Dubs

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many households receive their water through lead pipes.

Mr. Giles Shaw

It is estimated that about 8.5 million households in England and Wales use water which has passed through lead pipes; these are most often part of domestic plumbing systems, rather than the public supply system. Of these households, only about 2.5 million are likely to be in areas where there may be enhanced lead levels at the tap.

Water authorities are conducting surveys to identify positively those particular areas where there may be a significant problem. Various remedial measures, especially the treatment of water supplies to reduce their plumbosolvency, have been taken and further steps are in hand. Changes will shortly be made to the home improvement grant system which will widen local authorities' powers to give grants for the replacement of lead pipework.