Green Recovery: Take the lead on LEAD

Removal and replacement of lead water supply pipes is not only good for occupiers’ health, but part of UK water companies ‘Green Recovery Programme’.

The industry has been aware of the potential damage lead can do to the environment and health problems, particularly in infants and children for over 50 years.  Houses built before 1970 would have been constructed with lead water supply pipes and in some areas of the UK up to a third of these older properties are still receiving their water through these original lead pipes.1 UK water companies are actively engaged in replacement of these old lead supplies, and many are offering grants to residents.  

In any brown field development removal of a lead water supplies should be a priority.  In addition to removal of potential contaminants, these new pipe materials improve flow rates and reducing pipe noise.  

Traditionally, any lead replacement program requires major excavations outside a property and causes huge disruption within.  Resulting in mess and disturbance to householders over several days.  This disruption has often been the cause of users’ reluctance to have the work undertaken.  However, with wider use of modern boilers, the lower water flow of old lead pipes can cause problems and are often the incentive for supply replacement.

Replace lead water supply pipes in under 2 hours…no major excavations, minimal disruption.


INSUduct® is an innovative solution.  Minimising disturbance, time and cost.  

Unlike traditional methods, INSUduct® allows the new water service to be routed up the external face of the building and connected to the internal plumbing above ground level, whether this is the ground floor or upper storey.  In multi-occupancy properties INSUduct® allows multiple supply pipes to be installed, as it is designed to provide frost protection for up to three 32mm OD water pipes installed to the exterior of the building.

INSUduct only requires one simple core drilled hole through the wall, at an appropriate point to connect with the internal plumbing.  This enables most water supply replacements to be completed within a couple of hours, without the traditional mess and disruption to the householders or occupiers.  The improvement in work efficiency and reduction on the impact to occupants is a win for both contractor and customer.  There is also little impact to the exterior appearance of the property, as the INSUduct system provides a neat, clean finish to the job.


Groundbreaker products are designed to provide long lasting and effective thermal protection to water pipes and fittings outside the thermal envelope of a building. They offer frost protection for 3 days or more with temperatures as low as -15°C, temperatures we rarely reach in the UK - even with today’s erratic climate!  Carefully fabricated to provide long lasting and effective thermal protection to water pipes and fittings in external situations, the products exceed British Standard 5422 and all relevant Water Regulations for frost protection and is on the “approved list” of most UK water companies.
The use of insulated ducting also allows compliance with British Plumbing Employers Council (BPEC) best practice of joint free supply installation.   In their recently launched Groundworker, Service Pipe and Meter Housing Installation Training the use of joint free installation is recommended and is recognized to minimize the risk of future joint failure and leaks.

Images © Groundbreaker