Works to the Cold Water Services on the Estate
BAM Estate has started out on a programme to introduce new cold water supplies to all flats. These are to be run in heavily insulated pipe work up the exterior of the buildings. Valved connections will be fitted on the exterior of each flat approximately opposite the existing supply positions within the flat. If the leaseholder requests, at the time of installation, pipework can be run through the wall to leave a valved connection within the flat. Once that pipework is tested and left live, the leaseholder can then make their own connection to the new supply when it suits them.
There are a number of reasons why it is necessary for these works to be carried out: -
• The mains water risers from the street via each flat and up to the roof, and the cold water down services from the roof tanks, are all mainly in lead pipework.
• Lead pipework is causing problems with faulty stopcocks and leaks in the flats with all the cost implications that replacement and redecoration involves.
• Lead pipework will in places be collapsing, reducing the pressure at peak demand times. With the reduced mains pressure, and increased use of the mains by the flats, the mains supply to the hot water service tanks on the roofs is barely sufficient. This is resulting in reduced system pressure at peak demand and so the introduction of air into the hot water service systems, resulting in reduced hot water service temperatures.
• The existing lead pipework incoming main to each block is 28 mm. Current usage of water per head is higher than the original design standard. The optimum to allow each flat to run its own heating and hot water system would be an incoming main of 35 mm. and the works we will be carrying out will provide a larger supply.
• Because the lead pipework is run inside the flats the mains water is being warmed as it passes through. Tests have shown temperatures of close to and above 20c at the roof tanks where the incoming mains at the road is 13c or less. This is can lead to high storage temperatures in the cold water tanks which can lead to high bacteria readings. New external mains and down service supplies properly lagged would resolve this problem.
• The lead pipework is as old as the buildings i.e. over 100 years old, and the incidence of deterioration can only increase.
• Some residents have expressed a preference that their drinking water should not be run through lead pipework because of their fears of lead contamination.
• The introduction of alternative cold water supplies is a major project, and is therefore being programmed for implementation over a period of years. Whilst BAM Estate is not a ‘water supplier’ as specified in the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2000 it takes the view that it should conform with acknowledged best practise.
As this is a long term programme we will contact individual leaseholders closer to the time when it is proposed to carry out works affecting their flats, and will enquire as to whether they wish to take the opportunity to have pipework run through the wall to leave a valve to which they can, at a later date, make their own connection. Leaseholders who are proposing carrying out alterations in their flats that affect their plumbing are being advised of how the programme may affect them.
Whilst the Estate will make no charge for bringing the valved connection into the flat, any works required to fixtures, finishes or decorations etc. would be down to the leaseholder.
The subsequent connection to the new supply valve, whether it is internal or external, is for the leaseholder to arrange at their own cost.