Lead

In July 2018 the Federal Government’s Environmental Health Standing Committee (enHealth) issued a guidance statement about lead in drinking water from some plumbing products. The guidance describes how lead can dissolve into drinking water from some brass plumbing fittings, particularly where water has been sitting in contact with these brass plumbing products for long periods. Although enHealth advises that there is no need for households to have their water tested for lead, it recommends proactive steps households can take to proactively reduce their potential exposure to lead in drinking water These include:

  • using water from cold taps only for drinking and cooking
  • flushing cold water taps used for drinking and cooking for about 30 seconds first thing in the morning to draw fresh water through the tap
  • flushing cold water taps used for drinking and cooking for about 2 to 3 minutes after long periods of non-use, such as return from holidays; this ‘flushed’ water can be collected and used for washing up
  • choosing plumbing products that have been certified to WaterMark and AS/NZS 4020:2005; and/or have low lead content or are lead free, when renovating or building.

The enHealth guidance is available here: Lead plumbing products guidance statement.