Rotterdam, Utrecht take measures against lead water pipes

Following Amsterdam's lead, Utrecht and Rotterdam are launching large-scale checks of municipal buildings for the presence of lead water pipes, the municipalities told NOS.

The water from lead pipes can entail health risks, especially for babies and young children. Utrecht will therefore start by checking all primary schools and daycare centers built in the municipality before 1960 - the year when the use of lead pipes in construction was banned. Where necessary, the municipality will take action, the municipality said.

Rotterdam is not only checking buildings frequented by children, but all buildings that fall under the municipality's management. Whether schools and daycare centers will be checked first, a spokesperson could not yet tell NOS. GGD Rotterdam-Rijnmond already informed daycare centers and schools about the risks of lead water pipes and what measures should be taken, like replacing the pipes, using bottled water, or flushing the tap before using the water.

Amsterdam is already working on identifying the presence of lead pipes. These pipes will be replaced in all municipal buildings, starting with the buildings where many children and pregnant women go. The municipality also sent letters to all schools that are located in private buildings built before 1960, advising them not to drink the tap water until the pipes have been checked.