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What we are doing to reduce the amount of lead in your drinking water

Lead has been used in drinking water and bathing systems for thousands of years. 

Our aim is to deliver water, which meets the lead standard and regulations, every minute of the day, whilst working towards a lead free water supply. 

Lead service pipes were phased out in the 1960s and became illegal in 1969. Now modern service pipes are made of blue plastic. 

In most cases we’re responsible for the water main in your street and the communication pipe up to, and including the stopcock, at the boundary of your property. Property owners are responsible for the supply pipe, which is the section of the service pipe from the boundary to the property itself. 

                             Lead Pipes

Water is sampled regularly at our treatment works, storage tanks on our network and at our customers’ taps to monitor the quality of the drinking water. 

Across Scotland laboratory tests are carried out on thousands of water samples each year for regulatory purposes. 

The percentage of all regulatory samples complying with relevant standards in Scotland is over 99%. 

But we can’t reduce lead on our own. We work with other agencies, including WaterSafe UKWater UK and the Drinking Water Quality Regulator (DWQR), as well as householders, to raise awareness and help ensure that drinking water in Scotland is safe. 

If you would like us to sample your water for lead, contact us:

Customer helpline - 0800 0778 778 

Email -

Twitter - @scottish_water

Facebook - 

Here's What We Do

The current drinking water quality standard for lead is 10 micrograms per litre.

We are working hard to reduce the amount of lead which can dissolve in drinking water.

Our lead strategy involves: 

  • If you contact us, we will send a sampler out to test your water

  • If lead levels don’t meet the legal standard we will investigate further

  • During investigation if lead pipes are detected which belong to us we will remove them

  • We condition water at our Water Treatment Works to help prevent lead in your water

  • We provide advice to customers on how to reduce lead in their drinking water

What You Can Do


What you need to know about lead and some simple steps you can take to reduce lead in your drinking water can be found HERE.

Contact Us

0800 0778 778