top of page

Strategic Response 6

Towards a lead free Wales

We have the opportunity to help improve public health, and propose a targeted replacement of lead communication
and supply pipes, as part of a wider societal effort to address lead in drinking water.
SR6 - Towards a lead free Wales with James Lees

This strategic response includes:

Given the benefit to public health, we believe
that we have a role to play in addressing the
issue of lead supply pipes. However, we do
not propose to replace all lead pipes as we
are not legally responsible for customers’
supply pipes. This strategic response will
involve four programmes to mitigate the risks
of lead pipes replacement:
• Replacement of all communication and
lead supply pipes by Welsh Water where
higher than normal lead sample readings
have been identified (even though these
will typically still meet all the required
health standards);
• Replacement of lead supply pipes
amongst vulnerable customer groups,
through the Welsh Governments ‘Arbed’
and ‘Nest’ schemes for households with
expectant mothers and children under 6;
• Replacement of lead supply pipes by
Welsh Water when found during meter
installations; and
• Offering grants to all customers who
approach Welsh Water if they find lead
If Welsh Government placed a requirement
on Welsh Water to replace of all lead supply
pipes, it would require a change in legislation
and would cost an estimated £650m.

Research and Innovation

Welsh Water will explore the following
research topics to support this strategic
• Research and quantify the impact of lead
in drinking water to public health through
the Water Health Partnership;
• Research new techniques and
technologies for pipe replacement or
remediation technology;
• Research the impact of supply pipe
adoption; and
• Research alternatives to chlorine in
combatting the plumbo-solvency of lead in
We will collaborate with the Drinking Water
Inspectorate to undertake this research.

Find out more 

If you would like to find out more about all the Strategic Responses please CLICK HERE
bottom of page