Because we’re North Shore plumbers, we’re considered to be an essential service and we’ve been able to help people fix their plumbing emergencies in this part of Auckland. Not all of you have had the opportunity to carry on with your work. But when you are allowed to return to your workplace, there is a very simple thing you can do to make that first morning tea break a more enjoyable one – flush the taps.
Most of the water in New Zealand is slightly acidic. There’s no need to worry. It’s not dangerous and isn’t noticeable. But it is acidic enough to dissolve lead and other heavy metals including nickel, copper and cadmium, which become part of the water supply. Heavy metals can be harmful to your health in high levels. Lead is of particular concern, as it can’t be removed from the body. It builds up in the skeleton and can damage nerves and organs but, thankfully, only in extreme cases will it pose such a serious threat. But it’s better to be safe but sorry.
During the lockdown, heavy metals like lead might have accumulated in greater concentrations because workplace taps haven’t been turned on for so long. The flow of water hasn’t flushed them through the building’s plumbing system on a daily basis and out of harm’s way. That’s why we recommend you turn on the taps and let the water run for 15 to 20 seconds before using it for drinking or cleaning purposes. It’s a simple way to ensure your water is as fresh and as safe as possible.
The last thing we want to do is scare you. The Ministry of Health says the risk posed by heavy metals in drinking water is small. Nevertheless, they do advise that taps should be flushed at home and in workplaces every morning. They say 500mls should run from the taps before using the water, after that initial 15-20 second flush when you return to work, shorter flushes will do the trick.
If the water at your home or workplace has a strange taste or odour that persists, we suggest that it might be more than heavy metals at fault. There could be a deeper plumbing issue to resolve. We’d be happy to investigate the problem for you. As North Shore plumbers, the team at PG Plumbing & Gas believes everyone in our area is entitled to have clean water at their home or workplace, so give us a call.