Lead pipe replacement

Was your home built before 1970? If so, 
you could have lead pipes in your property.

How to replace your lead pipes

A step-by-step guide

  • Fill out a lead replacement form online or call the New Supplies team on 0345 602 8022 to complete over the phone.
  • After we've received your completed application form, we will call to book an initial inspection within five calendar days. This visit will normally be within eight weeks of submitting your application unless you specifically request it to be later.
  • Our engineer will meet with you onsite to discuss your project and plan. We’ll let you know where you need to bring your pipework out to and any specifications that need to be met. During this visit we’ll confirm if your pipework is lead and whether you are eligible for the free lead replacement scheme or if our work will be chargeable.
  • You will need to arrange for your own contractor to complete the private side of the work as discussed with our Network Site Agent.
  • You will need to take photos of the work your contractor is doing as you go along, so that you can submit images to newsupplies@bristolwater.co.uk when you’re ready for connection. You can find a list of the specific photos we require further down the page.
  • Once you’ve submitted photos our engineer will review them within five working days and confirm if it’s passed its final inspection.
  • We’ll then raise the job for connection and our planning team who will be in touch with a planned date so that you can arrange for your plumber to be onsite on the day of connection to swap your internal pipework over to your new pipework. Please ensure this isn’t done before we’ve been to do our work as you will leave yourself without any water. Our lead replacements are currently being done within six to eight weeks of your job being raised.

As part of our lead replacement works, we will fit a water meter in a boundary box in the public highway. This will make it even easier for you to switch. 9 out of 10 customers who choose to have a meter on average save £94. Please be aware, if you’re not currently on a meter there will no change to your current billing arrangements (unless you request to switch, or you’ve recently moved and are having a meter fitted as part of the change of occupier scheme). You can still use this meter though to look at how much water you’re using and monitor for leaks that otherwise might go undetected. Find out more about metering.

What do I do when I'm ready to be connected?

Please email newsupplies@bristolwater.co.uk advising you are ready for connection to be made and include photos of the following requirements:
  • Internal photo showing pipework, 1.5mm blue trace wire, suitable insulation and stop tap in position.
  • Point of entry. Clear photo showing the finished floor level (external) confirming the pipe is at a depth of 750mm of cover inside a 100mm (min) duct. Please use a tape measure in the photo to demonstrate the correct depth.
  • Photo of trenching. Showing pipework at 750mm of cover, 1.5mm blue trace wire and bed and surround, if requested. Please use a tape measure in the photo to demonstrate the correct depth.
  • Pipework at highway boundary. Showing depth at boundary, brought to agreed connection point (X mark) and pipework sealed.
  • One overall photo of the site taken from the boundary. If you are upgrading your supply, or separating from an existing supply and currently have an internal meter, a photo of the meter clearly showing the meter reading.
  • Our Network Site Agent (NSA) will review the photos and if they feel a site visit is necessary, one of our team will contact you to book an appointment. If we’re able to sign your job off with the photos you’ve provided, we will do so and no visit will be needed. Once signed off, your job will be passed to our planning team to get you a connection date.
  • To help ensure your job is passed quickly over to our planning team, please make sure you’ve paid this quote and provided any additional information that has been requested of you from our Network Site Agent, our Water Quality Team or our Water Regulations Team. Once we’ve received these things, we’ll be back in touch within 21 days with your planned connection date.