§ Mr. Ron Davies
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to his answer of 6 July, Official Report, column 36, why his Department does not hold information concerning properties with lead plumbing in Scotland; and if he will make a statement.
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
I assume the hon. Member is concerned with the health hazard arising from elevated levels of lead in drinking water. The presence of lead plumbing does not necessarily imply that the level of lead in the drinking water exceeds the current standard of 0.1mg/l laid down in the EC directive on the quality of water for human consumption. It is not clear that the considerable cost of surveys which would be required to collect fully comprehensive information of lead plumbing in Scotland would be justified. Water authorities are making good progress in reducing the plumbosolvency of water supplies by treatment processes or by pipe replacement as appropriate.