Lead in drinking water

Sir, – Irish Water has not highlighted the different chemistry that goes on inside lead pipes in hard water and soft water areas. Generally, in hard water areas, a virtually insoluble coating of various lead carbonates coat the inside of the pipes, making the water contained less susceptible to contamination with lead. In soft water areas and areas with lower pH water, the lead is much more soluble and the contamination with lead should be greater. In some areas of the UK, the water companies actively raise the pH of the water for this reason.

I would like to suggest to Irish Water that it engages in more science and less hysteria. – Yours, etc,




Co Waterford.

Sir, – The Government has finally opened its eyes to the serious legacy issue of domestic lead pipes and has announced a grant scheme but only to a limited number of households ("Alan Kelly announces new strategy on lead in drinking water", June 9th).

Either the health and safety of all citizens matter or they do not. The Government has sent a clear message that the health and safety of men, women, expectant mothers and children with a household income of more than €75,000 are not its concern.

My home has lead pipes and my water is unsafe to drink. I have paid my local property tax and water charges, and for what? Unsafe drinking water that the Government says I can afford to fix without the aid of a grant.

The squeezed middle continues to be squeezed. Everyone in this country should have the right to safe drinking water. I will remember this when Government TDs knock on my door next year looking for my vote. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 5.

Sir, – Plumbers of Ireland, the pipes are calling! – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.