A TOT’S mother has issued a warning to house-hunters after she found high lead levels in the water at her new home.
Claire Mitchell, 29, has not moved into the house she bought on Longwood Road, Longwood, in April because of fears over the health of 22-month-old son Shaun.
She took the decision after a test sample showed there was 110 milligrams of lead per litre of water in the pipes.
The recommended European Union level is no more than 25mg.
Claire only had the water checked after her neighbour told her she had lead pipes.
She said: “A small amount of lead can be absorbed through the skin, but also Shaun is a toddler and at times finds it funny to drink the bath water or splash around.
“So I could not risk him coming into contact with the lead.
“In children the effects from lead are quite serious; it can harm their internal organs and mental capabilities.
“The scary point is that if my neighbour had not told me about the pipes being lead then I would never have known.”
Claire spoke to her neighbour after discovering the water at the house had been switched off.
When he told her the pipes were lead she called Yorkshire Water, which carried out the sample checks.
After flushing out the system the company recorded a much lower reading. But it still advised her to have the pipes replaced.
Claire, who is now living with her mother in Birkby, is having to spend more than £2,000 on the work.
She said: “I have been told by my solicitor that no surveys pick this up and the council told me if I had a more detailed survey done it may, but not definitely, have been picked up.
“It could be a public concern for people living in houses built before 1970.
“I dread to think of the consequences if my son and I had moved in being unaware of this.”
A Yorkshire Water spokeswoman said the company had to meet strict guidelines on lead levels. More than 98% of all samples taken at customers’ taps were safe.
But the internal pipework was the responsibility of the customer.
She added: “With regard to the sample taken at the house on Longwood Road the 110mg/litre reading was taken from a standing sample, one taken from the supply without flushing the tap.
“This means the lead levels were likely to be higher as the water may have remained in the pipework for some time.
“The flushed sample level – the sample taken after the pipes have been flushed with running water or by flushing the toilet – was much lower at 2.05mg/l.
“This reading is more representative of the water being supplied to the property.
“Because of the high level of lead in the standing sample the customer has been advised that the lead pipes should be replaced.”
For more information visit www.yorkshirewater.com/homekit