Wonderful on Tap

 

We want to make sure we all have plenty of our wonderful water - today, tomorrow and in the years to come. That’s why we’re starting our Green Recovery Programme. Green Recovery is a range of exciting projects that will run up to March 2025, updating our water networks, making our region an even better place to live and using the latest technology to create a new Severn Trent fit for the future. One of the things we’re doing right now across Coventry is upgrading customers’ old lead water supply pipes – at no cost.

It’s our water, together, let’s do right by it.

Lead Pipe Replacement

What we're doing

The pipeline between our main water supply and your home is your responsibility (or your landlord’s if you’re renting). If there’s a leak – which is more likely with older pipework – you would have to organise repairs. 

If your house was built before 1970, your pipes might be past their best, with a higher risk of leaks. You might find you're sharing a supply with neighbours, or that your pipe is made from lead. As part of our upgrade programme, we’re offering to replace these older pipes at no cost to you. Normally this might cost you between £1,000 and £3,000.

We’re offering to upgrade existing lead water supply pipes, in over 25,000 homes in Coventry, with safer 25mm plastic pipe which meets new industry standards. Read on for more information and how to sign up.


Check if you qualify

To see if we can upgrade your supply pipes, we'll need to complete an inspection. To qualify, you must:

  • Currently have at least one of the following:
  • Lead supply pipes
  • A shared supply pipe with your neighbour(s) (a joint supply)
  • A leaking supply pipe
  • Own your home or pay the mortgage - if you rent your home, you'll need the landlords permission.
  • Have a CV1, CV2, CV3, CV4, CV5 or CV6 postcode or pay Coventry City Council Tax

 

Apply to get your lead pipes replaced

If your postcode qualifies, you can start your application to upgrade your pipes.

 

Once we’ve received your details, we’ll contact you to arrange an inspection.

If you’d prefer to speak to us about applying, give us a call on 0800 917 2477

A worker looking through a lead pipe

A smarter way to use water

When we upgrade your pipe, we’ll connect a smart meter, which will identify if there are any problems, like a local leak. It will also show how your household uses water. If you already have a water meter, we’ll upgrade yours to a smarter one.

If you don’t already have a meter you won’t have to change how you get billed by us. But if you can save money by switching, we’ll let you know.


The pipes we'll replace

We'll replace any lead pipes that connect your home to our water network, from our water main to your kitchen tap. 

That includes pipes in your property boundary that you'd normally be responsible for. 

How it works

A step-by-step guide to what we'll do when we upgrade your supply pipes.

After you apply to have your lead pipes replaced, we'll contact you to arrange an inspection.

When the inspection day comes, our contractors will call you before they arrive to make sure you're at home.

When they arrive, they'll check some things inside and outside your home, such as: 

  • where your supply pipes and stop taps are
  • if you share your supply pipes with your neighbours

They'll also carry out a flow and pressure test on the taps in your home.

After that, they'll talk to you about what happens next and explain how they'll install the new supply pipes and smart meter.

If you share your water supply with your neighbour(s), we can't update your pipe unless they sign-up too. If we find you're on a joint supply, we'll be in touch with your neighbour but it's a good idea to talk to them about it too.

On installation day, we'll put up any necessary barriers and road traffic signs to make sure the area is safe for you, our team and people in the area.

It’s likely that we’ll be replacing pipes for your neighbours at around the same time.

There are two ways we can install your new supply pipes: 

  1. Tunnelling underground using a tool called a mole
  2. Digging an open trench

We can only advise which installation method we will use when the team have completed the inspection.

Once we’ve installed your new supply pipes, we’ll reconnect your water supply to your new pipework and test everything, including your new smart meter.

After we've installed your new pipes, it's time for us to re-fill the holes and repair any ground surfaces. We call this reinstatement.

If we've had to dig up any part of your driveway, paths or any other part of your property, we'll talk to you about how we'll do this reinstatement and what materials we'll use.

Choose your own plumber

If you decide not to use a Severn Trent plumber and use an industry approved plumber, we will provide a £1,300 grant contribution towards the cost of the supply pipe replacement. This is part of our Supply Pipe Replacement Grant Scheme

Due to popular demand, there is currently a waiting list to get your lead pipes replaced by Severn Trent. By choosing your own plumber, you could potentially get your pipes replaced quicker.


How to find out if you have lead pipes

You can check if you have lead water pipes in a few simple steps. 

Why you should replace your lead supply pipes

The benefits of getting your lead pipes replaced.

Save money

Replacing your water supply pipes could cost you up to £3,000, or even more in some cases.

As part of this project, we’ll pick up the costs.

These older pipes are more likely to leak. By upgrading your pipes you are minimising that risk, and potentially saving loads of money!

Get the best out of your water

Lead was mostly used in fresh water pipes before 1970.

We do everything we can to make sure your water meets Water Quality drinking standards when it reaches your property. But removing these old lead pipes from the water system means we can be even more sure that you’re getting the best of our water. Who says you can’t improve on perfection? Find out how we look after our water.

Improved flow

Lead pipes narrow as they age, which can restrict the flow to your taps.

Replacing them can help to improve this.

If you’re on a joint supply with your neighbour, we’ll switch you to a new single supply connection which can also improve the flow to your home.

 

Future-proofing your home

Upgrading your lead supply pipes now will safeguard your home from needing more extensive work done in the future, which could cost even more.

This will also make your house more attractive if you ever decide to sell, as the cost and hassle of replacing lead pipes could put off potential buyers.

If you have lead pipes but don't live in Coventry

If you don’t live in one of our Coventry trial areas, you can still get your pipes replaced.  

You can replace your lead pipes using our region-wide lead pipe replacement scheme.  

We also have advice on how to reduce the health risks if you do have lead pipes.  

How to reduce health risks of having lead pipes 

Since 1970, it's been illegal for builders and plumbers to use lead pipes for drinking water.  

There's no legal need for homeowners to replace existing lead pipes, but it can help reduce health risks. 

Over time lead from lead pipes can get into your drinking water and damage your health.  

While you still have lead pipes, there are some things you can do to reduce the risk.  

Run the cold tap for at least two minutes at the start and end of every day. This will clear the water that’s been in contact with the lead pipe overnight. 

You may need to run your tap for slightly longer than two minutes if you’ve got a very long lead service pipe. This is common if you live in a farmhouse, for example. 

To make sure you don't waste the water you run off, you could collect it in a bowl or bottle and use it to water plants. 

Lead Pipe Replacement- Part of our 7 Green Recovery Initiatives