The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien today announced the launch of a campaign to create awareness of the improved grant available to remove lead pipes from homes.
Older housing stock built before the 1980s may contain lead pipes which in turn causes lead – which can be harmful to health - to enter drinking water. The Domestic Lead Remediation Grant Scheme provides funding for 100% of the approved cost of works to replace lead pipes, up to €5,000.
The grant is administered by local authorities and is not means-tested. The removal of lead pipes is the most effective way to reduce exposure to lead in drinking water and the available grant has the aim of replacing lead pipes with healthier, modern alternatives in the interests of public health.
From today, a Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage advertising campaign (across print, broadcast and digital media) will encourage affected home owners to avail of the scheme.
The Minister said:
“Through this campaign we are encouraging people to consider replacing old lead pipes with the support of the funding. We are committed to removing remaining lead piping entirely from our drinking water supply and this campaign seeks to raise awareness of the Government supports available for householders. The campaign follows from improvements to the grant that we made late last year meaning more households should now be able to avail of this grant.”
How to find out if your home contains lead pipes
People can find out if their homes contain lead pipes by checking the pipe running from the water main to your kitchen tap and looking for the point where the water supply pipe enters your house. Unpainted lead pipes are dull grey in colour and the joints appear to be ‘swollen’. They are also soft and scraping the surface with a coin will reveal a shiny, silver metal beneath. A qualified plumber or a registered building professional can also check the type of pipework in your home.
Uisce Eireann Customer Opt-In to replace lead pipes
The grant to remove lead pipes from the private site of your property complements Uisce Éireann’s (Irish Water) Customer Opt-In programme. This scheme replaces lead pipes on the public side of your property free of charge. To qualify you must have replaced your lead private supply pipe.
Lead and public health
Lead is a metal used for pipework and plumbing in some houses built before the 1980s. It is a proven health risk and no amount in drinking water is safe for public health. The HSE has a useful information page on the health risks of lead.
Information for Editors
Link to the Domestic Lead Remediation Grant Scheme page with information for individuals is as follows: www.gov.ie/leadpipes
Link to circular, Statutory Instrument and other relevant material on the Domestic Lead Remediation Grant Scheme is below:
Link to information on the Uisce Éireann Lead Mitigation Plan, including information for customers is below:
For information on the Customer Opt-In: https://www.water.ie/help/water-quality/lead-in-drinking-water/
Link to HSE website which contains information on the health implications of lead in drinking water is below: