Lead in Drinking Water

Lead in Drinking Water


In Scotland, lead does not occur naturally in significant concentrations in our water supplies. The problem arises when drinking water comes into contact with lead supply pipes, lead tanks, lead solder joints on copper pipes, or inferior quality brass fittings and taps, particularly for longer periods (e.g. overnight/weekends/holidays). This can result in high lead levels in the drinking water supply.


You should always drink water from the cold water tap in the kitchen as this is almost certainly connected to the cold water mains supply. Do not use water from the hot tap for drinking or cooking, do not use water from the hot tap for making baby formula.

If you suspect you may have lead pipes, Fife Council encourages you to undertake further works with a view to establishing whether lead is present and to take steps to replace them. In the short term, you should implement some precautionary measures to protect your health such as letting the cold tap run for a few minutes before you use it, especially if you’ve been away for a while. If you have a concern about the level of lead in your cold water supply, you can contact us (details below) to request a test for your water supply.

Information on the health effects of exposure to lead can be found on the NHS Inform website.


Please find more relevant links below:

Private water supplies

Private water supplies: rights and responsibilities

Apply for a private water supply grant

Maintaining your private water supply

Making sure your private water supply is safe to drink

Risk assessing your private water supply

Treating your private water supply

Testing your private water supply


Building Standards & Public Safety
Tel: 03451 55 11 22 Contact Building Standards & Public Safety online
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