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Master Plumbers Reveal Tap ware the Cause of Lead in New Zealand Drinking Water.

August 12, 2021

It seems like an issue from decades past; however, Mater Plumbers testing reveals there is still a dangerous amount of lead in New Zealand drinking water. Master Plumbers have had a serious concern for the quality of New Zealand drinking water for a few years now, and now are pushing for serious action to be taken by the New Zealand government

More councils are beginning to test their water after Otago and other South Island towns identified lead in their drinking supply. This concerning discovery was made confusing since all known lengths of lead pipes across New Zealand have been replaced. So how then was lead metal leaching into the water?

In a recent investigation, Master plumbers tested 5 faucets purchased online. 3 of the taps were found to contain lead above the allowable limit, and one 11 times over. Before 1997 most tap ware was made from brass alloys containing 8% lead. Water sitting in these taps for extended periods can leach out the lead, making the drinking water toxic. Despite, regulations mandating no more than 10 micrograms of lead per litre, Master Plumbers have found levels that far exceed this. Meaning, the only solution is to replace or upgrade existing tap ware that may contain lead.

This raises a very important question, why is there still an acceptable level of lead in drinking water? Mater Plumbers continue to push the government to take a “zero tolerance” stance, banning any levels of lead. The world health organisation has ruled there is no known safe blood lead concentration. Lead exposure is known to cause serious neurological and behavioural effects, leading to leaded paint and gasoline’s ban. However, this same zero tolerance policy has not extended the water supply.

How do I know if my Tap Ware contains lead?

Lead was historically used in plumbing, such as in pipes, joiners, fittings and as mentioned, faucets. Unrenovated buildings constructed pre-1970s may still contain lead or lead-containing plumbing. However, there is no way to confirm the presence of lead without having your water tested.

If you are unsure about the safety of your existing plumbing and fittings, consider having them upgraded to tested and verified products. Contact the team at euro plumbing online or give us a call at 0800 832 638.

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