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Can Epoxy Lining Prevent Lead Contamination from Water Pipes

Aug 4, 2008
The primary material for water pipes in major U.S. cities, between the late 19th and early 20th centuries, was lead. Its durability and malleability made it a very popular choice for pipe material. Eventually galvanized steel and copper would replace lead, and copper pipe would eventually become the most popular material used in home water service and distribution in mid to late 20th century construction.

Lead contamination, caused by pipe corrosion and erosion, was the major source of lead-related health problems in the years before the health hazards of ingesting lead were fully understood. Two of the most serious health problems were stillbirth and high rates of infant mortality. Part of what did and continues to makes it so serious is that, unlike many other plumbing or pipe problems, there is no way to detect it without having your water tested. On its website, the EPA offers general information about lead contamination and how to test for it.

If you have lead in your water, it?s generally because of lead-based solder which was the primary material to join copper pipes together, a service line pipe from your house to the city or town water main made out of lead, and brass or chrome-plated brass faucets. In 1986, Congress put and end to the use of lead solder with over 0.2% lead in it. The lead in faucets, pipes and every other plumbing material was not allowed to exceed 8.0%.? ?Lead-free? brass legally can can?t have than 8% lead in it and plumbing systems installed prior to the 1986 legislation can possibly contain higher levels of lead.

Water lines from the city or town water main to a home or building?s water system may be a lead pipe in older structures. If you or a previous owner of the structure had your plumbing system upgraded since 1960, it?s probably composed of galvanized pipe. Galvanized pipe doesn?t need lead solder to be joined. Faucets need to be checked for brass or chrome-plating, you?re the original manufacturer, a local hardware store, or a licensed plumber should be able to tell you if yours contain either.

Once installed, epoxy pipe lining is a barrier to prevent lead leaching from your pipes into your drinking water. The epoxy lining prevents the water going through the pipe from coming into contact with the metal of the pipe, the chemical reaction that creates pipe corrosion is prevented. Epoxy pipe lining will prevent lead and other metals (from your pipes) from getting into your water. The lining also prevents other poor water quality issues, for example: red, brown, blue or yellow water, zinc or iron leeching from galvanized pipes into your water, causing a metallic taste, and bacteria can cause terrible tasting or smelling water.

A relatively unknown technology, epoxy pipe lining is not a new technology, --in fact it?s well proven. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Navy have both ested and approved the use of epoxy pipe lining to prevent contaminants, including lead, from leaching into drinking water. Their reports are published and links to them can be found at http://curaflo.com/CuraFlo/ResourceCenter. The epoxy used by CuraFlo in epoxy pipe lining, CuraPoxy?, is certified to meet the U.S.

There is no need for health concerns when it comes to epoxy lining your pipes, CuraFlo?s epoxy, CuraPoxy?, is certified to meet ANSI/NSF Standard 61 - the U.S. government standard for safe potable (drinking) water. ANSI/NSF Standard 61 certification means that something is certified safe to be used in potable water pipes at temperatures up to 180? Fahrenheit or 82.2? Celsius. CuraFlo?s epoxy pipe lining process protects you from lead (and other metals) in your pipes leaching into your water by preventing these metals from leaching into your water.
About the Author
Dr. Dave Dunn is Vice President of Research and Development for CuraFlo on of their products is CuraFlo Engineered Flow Lining System: restores 1/2" to 4" hot and cold water domestic plumbing without ripping out walls. Dr. Dave holds a PhD in Polymer Chemistry from the University of Keele in England.
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