causes of lead

Lead Contributors

Lead pipes are not the only way that lead can leach into drinking water. What are the causes of lead (Pb) in my water?

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Lead pipes are not the only way that lead can leach into drinking water.

In-line lead (Pb) contributors, such as lead solder and brass fittings, used in the assembly of a copper piped water system, can have a major impact on lead leaching.

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) calls for plumbing system components to be “lead free”, and prohibits the “use of any pipe, any pipe or plumbing fitting or fixture, any solder, or any flux, after June 1986, in the installation or repair of (i) any public water system; or (ii) any plumbing in a residential or non-residential facility providing water for human consumption, that is not lead free.”

The EPA’s action level for lead in the US is 15 ppb. 
Other countries, including Canada, the European Union, UK, Mexico and China, are already observing the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 10 ppb cut off level for lead.

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Plumbing systems installed before 1986 may contain lead solder

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Brass fittings containing up to 8 percent lead were used in the U.S. until 2014

In 2015, Pipe Restoration Technologies, LLC, parent company of the ePIPE LeadSmart technology, was contacted by a contractor hired by The Water Supplies Department of Hong Kong, after discovering that an estimated 30,000 public housing units and an undisclosed number of schools and private housing units were shown to have lead levels of well over the WHO cut off level of 10 ppb.

Investigation determined the source of the lead leaching was primarily attributed to the improper use of lead solder used on the copper water pipes.

Water samples were taken, some of which had lead levels of exceeding 500ug/l before the ePIPE coating was applied. Once the ePIPE process was applied, lead levels were found to be in compliance with the 10 ug/l requirement,testing at < 1ppb.


Pb = > 0 ug/l
Pre-lining lead concentration
Pb = < 0 ug/l
Post-lining lead concentration

Our Patents

ePIPE is actively working with US, Hong Kong and UK water authorities to continue to reduce the lead levels in drinking water to acceptable standards. ePIPE has been granted 4 US Patents on it’s effectiveness of reducing lead leaching in piping systems, US Patents #8524320 and #9273815.

Independently tested by water quality regulators, the patented ePIPE LeadSmart protection system has proven to be the fastest return to service and most effective in-place epoxy lining lead and leak protection system in the industry.

Patent portfolio