Groundbreaker: Leading the way on LEAD

Don’t let drinking water harm your tenants

Awareness of the potential health problems caused by lead in the water supply, particularly in infants and children is growing.  Houses built before 1970 would have been constructed with lead water supply pipes and if still in place can be causing developmental harm to young occupants.

Although the use of lead in plumbing has been banned in the UK for more than 50 years, there are still many properties where a risk of lead contamination of water is a risk.  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]

In properties with lead supply pipes, the only totally secure method to reduce lead levels in the water supply is to replace the original supply with modern plastic pipe.  These new materials can also provide the additional benefits of improving 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.

leadReplace lead water supply pipes in under 2 hours…no major excavations, minimal disruption with INSUduct®

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.

Steve Leigh, developer of the range and Managing Director of Groundbreaker, has over 40 years’ experience in the Water Industry.  “We’ve been putting pipes in holes in the ground to protect them from frost for decades,” he explained.  “Although it works, todays new materials allow for a much better solution.  Keeping pipes on the surface reduces the risk of leaks developing and allows for easy repair and maintenance.  It’s just a much better method of working.”  

This isn’t just Steve’s opinion, in 2018 Groundbreaker were recognised by the HBF (Home Builders Federation) as the Utility Company of the Year for their innovative range that meets the highest standards in both product specification and leak free installation design.

Lead Water Supply replacement has become a priority for water companies across the UK. Systems such as Groundbreaker can overcome user reluctance and provide time and cost-efficient methods of water supply pipe reluctance.

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