Brussels tap water still has too much lead

Brussels tap water still has too much lead

The levels of lead in the Brussels water network are still higher than they should be due to a number of old water pipes yet to be replaced, according to reports. In 2018, a quality check of 900 samples showed that in 2% of cases the lead content remained too high in Brussels. The acceptable level of lead in Brussels drinking water was set at 10 micrograms per litre in 2013. 

The metal comes from the water pipes that have yet to be replaced by water manager Vivaqua, who has been working on them since 2003, reports La Libre Belgique. It is through these pipelines that lead leaks into tap water in Brussels.

In the first years, 6,000 pipes were replaced every year, but since 2010 the renewal process has stalled. Last year Vivaqua changed 373 lead pipes, bringing the total number since 2003 to 46,558.

Brussels member of parliament David Weytsman (MR), who raised the issue, denounces the lack of oversight on the project. He argues in favour of mapping out the Brussels water supply network.

Jules Johnston

The Brussels Times

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