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Plastic water piping effective replacement to lead piping

Northampton will end up one of the first places in the UK to benefit from the installation of plastic water pipes to meet incoming EU requirements over lead levels.

From 2013, new European requirements will mean the limit on lead in drinking water will more than halve, from 25 to ten parts per billion.
According to the Northampton Chronicle, Anglian Water is to replace thousands of lead pipes supplying water to Northampton homes to comply with the new rules.
The plastic pipe work project, which will cost 1 million, will target 32 streets in the Far Cotton and St James parts of the town over the eight-month job.
Northampton is one of the first places to benefit from the introduction of plastic pipe work as part of its water infrastructure because there are a number of older properties in the town which are served by lead piping.
Toni Holtby, of Anglian Water, told the newspaper: "Awareness of levels of lead in the environment has increased during recent years with the move to lead-free petrol and paints.
"Where lead is found in tap water, it usually comes from old lead pipe work connecting the property to the water main or in the internal plumbing."
"We are now replacing large amounts of that old pipework as part of our continual programme of improving water quality."
Plastic pipes are considered effective, especially for use in water supply, because of their durability and lightweight nature.
Their weight makes them an easy task to transport and fit and they are rust-resistant and less susceptible to leaks than other alternatives, such as lead.
There is also much being done in the water industry to look at how plastic piping technologies can facilitate a more effective water supply.
At a recent EU water efficiency workshop Hans Elgin, chairman of the European Plastic Pipes and Fittings Association, said the plastic pipe systems industry had recently invested in the development of full life cycle product declarations following ISO methodology for plastic and alternative materials piping systems.
"The studies prove that plastic pipe systems have a far lower environmental impact compared to other materialsScience Articles," it was claimed.

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