CR4 - The Engineer's Place for News and Discussion ®


Previous in Forum: Splicing   Next in Forum: Calculation To Show A Certain Pipe Support Is Enough For Seismic Events
Close
Close
Close
37 comments
Active Contributor

Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 22

Lead Pipes

05/06/2016 12:33 PM

Has lead water pipes ever been manufactured in this United States? Is it really lead pipes in Michigan or is it just contaminated pipes with lead?

Register to Reply
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Guru
United States - Member - New Member

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: In the pool because it is too hot.
Posts: 3017
Good Answers: 141
#1

Re: Lead pipes

05/06/2016 12:47 PM

Lead pipes have been used all over the world and in some areas it is still installed.

For potable water it hasn't posed a big problem since potable water is not taking the lead out of the pipe.

Safety standards in EU do not require replacing lead pipes yet.

__________________
Plenty of room here
Register to Reply
Guru
CR4 Admins - CR4 Moderator - CR4 Moderator Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member United States - Member - New Member

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Crime Alley, Gotham City
Posts: 505
Good Answers: 1
#3
In reply to #1

Re: Lead pipes

05/06/2016 1:04 PM

It's true. Lead pipes aren't a problem until they begin to leach, which occurs based on the corrosiveness of the water. Many water treatment plants include corrosion inhibitors in the water to reduce the chance of lead and iron pipe corrosion.

Lead goosenecks, pictured, are still very common in the U.S.

__________________
HUSH
Register to Reply
Guru
United Kingdom - Member - Indeterminate Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: In the bothy, 7 chains down the line from Dodman's Lane level crossing, in the nation formerly known as Great Britain, and now disconnecting as Little England and Wales (not too sure about Wales bit, either). Kettle's on.
Posts: 25917
Good Answers: 683
#35
In reply to #3

Re: Lead pipes

06/02/2016 3:17 AM
  • Orthophosphates are generally added where needed to inhibit leaching.
  • Lead is present in many solders that have been used to assemble legacy copper pipes and will remain until those pipes are replaced; modern solders are generally lead-free.
__________________
"Did you get my e-mail?" - "The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place" - George Bernard Shaw, 1856
Register to Reply
Guru
Engineering Fields - Nuclear Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Louisville, OH
Posts: 1012
Good Answers: 22
#20
In reply to #1

Re: Lead pipes

05/07/2016 9:54 AM

For potable water it hasn't posed a big problem since potable water is not taking the lead out of the pipe.

No. Sebring, OH, is somewhat east of me; their problem with elevated lead was because of slightly acidic water that leached the lead from a few service lines that were still in service.

__________________
Lehman57
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 17646
Good Answers: 308
#2

Re: Lead pipes

05/06/2016 12:55 PM

I believe you may be referring to Flint Michigan issues. And I'll answer as such.

Has lead water pipes ever been manufactured in this United States?

I'm sure they have, lead was mined in the upper Midwest.

Is it really lead pipes in Michigan or is it just contaminated pipes with lead?

Yes among other things. I'll just address the pipe. Due to budget manipulation, the infrastructure was not maintained correctly. Such as I understand it, they can use a coating on the inside (bandage) of the pipe to isolate the lead from the potable water.

It was a poorly and corrupt politically run city and state where now the problems are now coming to roost.

__________________
phoenix911
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 17414
Good Answers: 997
#4

Re: Lead pipes

05/06/2016 1:04 PM

They changed the water source, which changed the ph, which caused leaching from the lead pipes....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flint_water_crisis

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_pipe

__________________
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. A.E.
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 39041
Good Answers: 1533
#5
In reply to #4

Re: Lead pipes

05/06/2016 1:08 PM

And, "In Flint, between 6,000 and 12,000 children have been exposed to drinking water with high levels of lead and they may experience a range of serious health problems", while all the bureaucrats who caused, then ignored the problem for over a year, still have their jobs, health and obscene salaries.

Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 17646
Good Answers: 308
#6
In reply to #5

Re: Lead pipes

05/06/2016 1:18 PM

actually, the problem started a long time (decades) prior. Switching water source was just the results of the problem.

__________________
phoenix911
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 39041
Good Answers: 1533
#10
In reply to #6

Re: Lead pipes

05/06/2016 2:11 PM

No. Switching water sources WAS the problem.

The problem and the cause was well known long before it was acknowledged. Much longer before any action was taken.

Register to Reply
2
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 17646
Good Answers: 308
#15
In reply to #10

Re: Lead pipes

05/06/2016 8:09 PM

I see it differently. They were cutting costs due to fiscal irresponsibility, and instead went from buying from Detroit a safe source...(so far), they switch to the flint river. The switch was when the problem revealed its self, the source of the problem was trying to save money it didn't have.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jan/23/flint-water-crisis-cost-cutting-switch-water-supply

And the corrupt politicians that set this up, is gone. But the corrupt public servants that fudged the reports when the switch was made is still there.

And now everyone is pointing fingers, and the taxpayers are footing the bill.

__________________
phoenix911
Register to Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 17646
Good Answers: 308
#27
In reply to #10

Re: Lead pipes

05/10/2016 8:38 AM

And the Corruption continues in Flint, MI water crisis, and the innocent pays for it.

__________________
phoenix911
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 17414
Good Answers: 997
#7
In reply to #5

Re: Lead pipes

05/06/2016 1:25 PM

Which is a continuing problem with lead based paint and lead additive that was used in gasoline for many years, and numerous other historical sources....

https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/lead-poisoning-historical-perspective

__________________
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. A.E.
Register to Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Popular Science - Cosmology - New Member

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 6919
Good Answers: 208
#8

Re: Lead Pipes

05/06/2016 1:44 PM

their source water (river) is the big issue

Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - Old Salt Hobbies - CNC - New Member United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Rosedale, Maryland USA
Posts: 5176
Good Answers: 264
#9

Re: Lead Pipes

05/06/2016 2:06 PM

The federal government did not prohibit the use of lead pipes until 1986. Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1986. Here is some history http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2509614/

Even in homes with copper pipes. The older pipes were sweated with solder that had a high content of lead. The brass and bronze adapter fittings have lead in them.

__________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving in a pretty, pristine body but rather to come sliding in sideways, all used up and exclaiming, "Wow, what a ride!"
Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Wannabeabettawelda

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 3971
Good Answers: 217
#11
In reply to #9

Re: Lead Pipes

05/06/2016 2:53 PM

For that reason, I make sure I run the sink a bit in the morning before I draw any water for human (or pet) consumption. Although I drank out of lead soldered copper pipe for decades . . . .

Register to Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Popular Science - Cosmology - New Member

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 6919
Good Answers: 208
#12
In reply to #11

Re: Lead Pipes

05/06/2016 3:03 PM

that explains it........

Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Wannabeabettawelda

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 3971
Good Answers: 217
#13
In reply to #12

Re: Lead Pipes

05/06/2016 3:08 PM

Explains what ? What were we talking about?

Register to Reply
Guru
United Kingdom - Member - Indeterminate Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: In the bothy, 7 chains down the line from Dodman's Lane level crossing, in the nation formerly known as Great Britain, and now disconnecting as Little England and Wales (not too sure about Wales bit, either). Kettle's on.
Posts: 25917
Good Answers: 683
#36
In reply to #13

Re: Lead Pipes

06/02/2016 3:20 AM

Quite.

__________________
"Did you get my e-mail?" - "The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place" - George Bernard Shaw, 1856
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 17646
Good Answers: 308
#16
In reply to #11

Re: Lead Pipes

05/06/2016 8:10 PM

I do that too, get the stale water out, and get colder water.

__________________
phoenix911
Register to Reply
Associate

Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 45
#17
In reply to #11

Re: Lead Pipes

05/07/2016 9:03 AM

I was totally aware of this for several years. When I converted what is my house now., I eliminated ALL COPPER PIPES. I ran pvc thru out the whole house so that I would not get that black looking stuff in my drinking water. I also ran it to where I would have access to get to it easily by centrally locating all my pipes in one confined area. If I had a leak (which has occurred only once), it took me a matter of minutes to fix. Problem solved. Lead pipes - copper pipes - iron pipes just have too many medical issues as well as rusting issues.

Register to Reply
Anonymous Poster #1
#18
In reply to #17

Re: Lead Pipes

05/07/2016 9:40 AM

nothing worse than a rusty copper pipe.enjoy the chloride leaching

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 10004
Good Answers: 122
#24
In reply to #17

Re: Lead Pipes

05/09/2016 8:21 AM

So then, I guess the plasticizer in PVC poses no health concerns for you.... good luck with the PVC, don't develop a skin rash.

__________________
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just build a better one.
Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Associate

Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 45
#25
In reply to #24

Re: Lead Pipes

05/09/2016 12:46 PM

Good Point Taken. After doing research about plasticizers, I found that there are a lot of medical things that are used with this material. One is blood bags for blood transfusions. (2) is stabilizer for red blood cells. Used in ostomy equipment. Most common used for heart lung bypass sets. In fact 1/3 of all medical devices and equipment used are PVC and have plasticizers in it. They are also used in water heaters. I appreciate your input but after research found out that there was some concern in Europe (which has different standards than us) that there were serious long term effects which they had changed. The US seem to think that there really isn't any significant danger to humans. On the other hand - every pill - medication - chemo procedure - radiation - has longer term effect and is MORE dangerous - BUT WE STILL TAKE THEM don"t we?

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 10004
Good Answers: 122
#26
In reply to #25

Re: Lead Pipes

05/09/2016 4:25 PM

Appears so. I just personally don't want to break out in a case of chemical acne. Very horrible itching, and ugly, ugly pustules everywhere. I think good old iron pipes whether galvanized or plain black iron are better in areas that have hard, alkaline water.

__________________
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just build a better one.
Register to Reply
2
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1080
Good Answers: 98
#23
In reply to #9

Re: Lead Pipes

05/07/2016 10:18 PM

Good points, ozzb.

I worked for a municipal water/wastewater utility for a few years in the '90's, and was a member of he AWWA. That association has a lot of good information, treaining, etc. If the rules were being followed, the problems in Flint would have NEVER happened. Water chemistry and water safety for drinking water are both very complex topics. I have seen the following materials used for drinking water pipes (including large-size long transmission pipes, distribution pipes, service laterals to houses, and plumbing inside the home): redwood, steel reinforced concrete, asbestos-cement ("transite"), cast iron, ductile iron, steel, cement lined steel, brass, copper, lead, galvanized iron, PVC, PB, CPVC, PeX, and PE. Each type has advantages, problems, and limits on use.

When water has a lot of dissolved minerals --"hardness", it tends to have these precipitate as a coating inside the pipe. This coating and the existing hardness of the water protect the water from leaching of lead out of the pipes or fittings. Because the coating eventually gets so thick that it interferes with water flow, the utilities want to minimize it, so they will change the water chemistry or mechanically clean the pipes.

Since the late 1980's, regulations have prohibited lead in the solder used with copper pipes (it had been 60% lead and 40% tin). More recently regulations have prohibited the use of lead as an alloying metal in the brass used for valves and fittings (a very small percent is still allowed). This was after tests showed that standing water would leach the lead from these fittings.

I did a quick search on lead water pipes and found that they were common until the 1930's, and still acceptable to model building codes as late as 1985. Installation of new lead water pipes were prohibited by US Federal law in 1986. However, I don't know of any laws that have mandated their removal.

My father, a chemist, removed all the lead water pipes in our home in the 1950's, and I have removed it from any home I have owned since then.

--JMM

Register to Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
2
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 10004
Good Answers: 122
#14

Re: Lead Pipes

05/06/2016 3:28 PM

The problem could be fixed simply and cheaply by (1) ensuring some alkalinity in the tap water, (2) sufficient calcium in the water, and (3) sufficient sulfate to keep lead insoluble....,but no....everyone has to make life 10X more f****ng complicated these days, and they all claim to be experts, when they don't know sh*T.

Everyone working for, near, or around that water district would have had their A** fired if it was in Texas.

__________________
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just build a better one.
Register to Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Guru
Engineering Fields - Nuclear Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Louisville, OH
Posts: 1012
Good Answers: 22
#19

Re: Lead Pipes

05/07/2016 9:49 AM

Lead pipes certainly have been manufactured. Sebring. OH, somewhat east of here, has also had trouble with elevated lead levels. Theirs is apparently from the service lines from street to house rather from the water source. They have chosen to put an additive in the entire water supply instead of replacing the few pipes causing trouble.

We have a lead pipe in our house, but it is on the drain, not supply, side.

__________________
Lehman57
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 17414
Good Answers: 997
#21
In reply to #19

Re: Lead Pipes

05/07/2016 12:21 PM
__________________
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. A.E.
Register to Reply
Guru
Engineering Fields - Nuclear Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Louisville, OH
Posts: 1012
Good Answers: 22
#22
In reply to #21

Re: Lead Pipes

05/07/2016 8:25 PM

Point well taken. I understand there is already evidence of flushed medications showing up in our drinking water.

__________________
Lehman57
Register to Reply
Guru
Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member Engineering Fields - Marine Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Vancleave, Ms about 30 miles inland from Biloxi and the coast
Posts: 2972
Good Answers: 99
#28

Re: Lead Pipes

05/21/2016 11:30 AM

The house I lived in, In Jamaica, New York, in 1950 had a lead pipe entrance and the rest of the piping was copper. At 81, I don't show any symptoms of lead poisoning. I believe lead, like asbestos is safe to use as long as it is not disturbed. Once disturbed; cut into, it has to be totally removed. I encountered this while working in shipbuilding. If asbestos was found, you left it alone; but disturb it and it had to be totally removed. There was a lot of asbestos on the older ships because materials used on ships had to be fireproof. I didn't come across any lead pipe though.

__________________
Mr.Ron from South Ms.
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 17646
Good Answers: 308
#29
In reply to #28

Re: Lead Pipes

05/21/2016 12:34 PM

Maybe some people can metabolize or purge it from their system better...

__________________
phoenix911
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 10004
Good Answers: 122
#30
In reply to #28

Re: Lead Pipes

05/23/2016 9:15 AM

Ronsetto: The reason you are not symptomatic - you drink enough to flush lead or mercury out of your system at a reasonably efficient rate. Cheers!

Disturbing lead only has this effect: Lead sulfate will be released from the surface, and new sulfate has to be present to keep lead solubility down to "acceptable low levels". The released solids show up in a metals analysis, and also will be hydrolyzed if ingested due to stomach acids. Having a really good water filtration in place is a smart idea in any case where the pipe pedigree is not known, or known to contain lead pipes.

__________________
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just build a better one.
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 17646
Good Answers: 308
#31
In reply to #30

Re: Lead Pipes

05/23/2016 9:53 AM

Had some neighbors that worked in the ship yard that had lead poisoning. At the time, they were told to drink a lot of milk. I think that the treatment may have put a strain on the calcium in their body.

I just look through the treatment, and there are binders that they use to basically flush it from your system. So I think that you statement of drinking enough does help.

__________________
phoenix911
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 10004
Good Answers: 122
#32
In reply to #31

Re: Lead Pipes

05/23/2016 10:02 AM

It is a known fact that miners who work in lead mines and mercury mines must take off several weeks at the end of their shift rotation, and are ENCOURAGED to drink excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages during this time, to assist in flushing out heavy metal toxins. At least, that used to be the excuse.

Surely, chelation therapy has improved upon this. I would expect anyone undergoing large doses of EDTA (or something similar) would need to compensate by increasing the intake of calcium and magnesium, and other trace essential minerals.

__________________
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just build a better one.
Register to Reply
Associate

Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 45
#33
In reply to #32

Re: Lead Pipes

05/23/2016 2:19 PM

Your right - chelation therapy is definitely beneficial. I would also think that drinking colloital silver would help too. Get the machine and use distilled water by Hinckley Springs and that would definitely flush out a lot of the toxins.

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 10004
Good Answers: 122
#34
In reply to #33

Re: Lead Pipes

05/23/2016 2:59 PM

Greens. Spinach, Kale, Collard greens, and plenty of broccoli, and cabbage. And complete isolation from sources of ignition.

__________________
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just build a better one.
Register to Reply
Guru
United Kingdom - Member - Indeterminate Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: In the bothy, 7 chains down the line from Dodman's Lane level crossing, in the nation formerly known as Great Britain, and now disconnecting as Little England and Wales (not too sure about Wales bit, either). Kettle's on.
Posts: 25917
Good Answers: 683
#37
In reply to #34

Re: Lead Pipes

06/02/2016 3:27 AM

<...complete isolation from sources of ignition...> :-0

__________________
"Did you get my e-mail?" - "The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place" - George Bernard Shaw, 1856
Register to Reply
Register to Reply 37 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Anonymous Poster (1); Brave Sir Robin (2); dvmdsc (1); Fredski (2); HUSH (1); James Stewart (6); jmueller (1); Lehman57 (3); lyn (2); ozzb (1); phoenix911 (7); PWSlack (3); ronseto (1); Sailor Rick (3); SolarEagle (3)

Previous in Forum: Splicing   Next in Forum: Calculation To Show A Certain Pipe Support Is Enough For Seismic Events

Advertisement