Controlling Lead Release from Premise Plumbing: A Pilot Scale Comparison of Sodium Silicates and Phosphate
Lead and lead-tin solder were widely used in premise plumbing in North America until the 1980’s. Although this soldering practice has reduced significantly, lead release from older premise plumbing remains a concern. Utilities often use corrosion inhibitors to protect the piping in the distribution system and reduce lead release in premise plumbing. This study compares sodium silicates and phosphates as corrosion inhibitors for lead release in low alkalinity water. The study was carried out at the J.D. Kline Water Treatment Plant in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The experimental design compared sodium silicates (concentration of 18mg/L) and zinc orthophosphate (concentration of 0.8mg/L) as corrosion inhibitors at a pH of 7.3 for three disinfectant treatment groups (high chloramines (3mg/L), low chloramines (1mg/L), and chlorine (1mg/L)).