The Daily Telegraph

Households told to run taps for two minutes to flush out lead

- By Emma Gatten ENVIRONMEN­T EDITOR

RESIDENTS in a London block of flats are being asked to run their taps for two minutes before drinking or cooking, despite the drought, because of a risk of lead poisoning.

The flats are some of millions of homes built before the 1970s that still receive their water through lead pipes, despite the health risks, particular­ly to young children.

Freeholder Manaquel and managing agent Property Partners declined a request earlier this year from the local council to urgently replace old lead pipes that are poisoning water on the estate in south London.

Lambeth council has since written to residents of Dorchester Court warning them they will have to run the taps for two minutes to flush out contaminat­ion from the pipes. Tests by the council earlier this year found levels of lead contaminat­ion in more than half of the flats on the estate to be above legally permitted levels, with the drinking water in at least 60 flats at risk.

Lead poisoning can reduce children’s IQ and cause antisocial behaviour, as well as induce miscarriag­e and raised blood pressure in adults, according to the World Health Organisati­on.

Earlier this year, Lambeth council dropped its demand for Manaquel and Property Partners to replace the lead pipes to make the drinking water safe by July. Property Partners said there had been further sampling of the drinking water in 21 of the flats earlier this month which found the lead content had been greatly reduced by the filters.

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