According to the Scotsman (source), the quality of drinking water in Edinburgh is amongst the highest and purest in the world. 99.91% of water samples passed precise quality tests by the Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland. The Scottish tap water when analyzed has found to be 99.28% pure according to water standards in a 2002 survey.
Even though Edinburgh ranks among the highest cities all around the world when it comes to water quality, the people of Edinburgh leave no chance of giving their best towards the purity of water they are drinking. As Edinburgh plumbers, we are often asked how does home plumbing exactly impact water’s quality and the consequences of it. This is one of the most common concerns of the people out there and we are glad to help you with it.
Polymer pipes are now widely used for home plumbing, and several parts of the drinking water system, the contact of water with such minerals lead to an odor and change in taste. According to the Utility Quick Test (source), polymer pipes lead to the presence of either chlorine or chloramines in high quantity.
In addition, it was discovered (source) that such pipes contribute trihalomethanes also known as THMs (a group of four chemicals—chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and bromoform) to drinking water, thereby deteriorating the water quality to a great level. Presence of THMs in water show extremely negative health effects such as cancer.
Copper and galvanized (coated) steel plumbing systems also add trace metal concentrations to the drinking water. Levels of lead, copper, zinc, iron, and manganese, in taps, occur due to such plumbing systems, risking the quality of water.
In Scotland, the water is mostly exposed to high lead contents. Lead does not naturally arise in Scotland’s environment and the problem only arises when the water comes into contact with lead pipes, tanks, inferior quality brass fittings, solder joints on copper pipes, etc. The presence of excessive lead in drinkable water has shown an effect on the mental health of the children living in Scotland. It may also cause behavioral problems. The regulator body has established a project for the same to remove lead pipes and plumbing for the safety of the water quality.
Another problem is taken into account when plastic pipes are used for domestic plumbing due to the many advantages they have to offer like flexibility, corrosion free material, etc. If we go by studies, they have shown that plastic pipes which have been newly installed can impact the properties of consumable water by leaching of organic micropollutants from the inner walls of plastic pipes, making the water unfit for drinking.
Lastly, there also stands a risk of water being affected by the inclusion of copper (source), which is mainly experienced by the newer homes rather than the homes built before the 1980s. Though copper is found naturally in some water sources, it is found in low concentrations in Scottish drinking water due to the home plumbing system. So, it is highly suggested you have your plumber in Edinburgh check your water filter to help you improve the drinking water quality.