Protective internal pipe coating, an alternative to pipe replacement, has been proven to eliminate sources of lead contamination in water supplies.
This barrier coating can be applied to the insides of existing household water pipes, providing a chemically inert protective lining. This coating not only prevents metal leaching into household water, it also prevents the major cause of water damage and mold formation in homes today -- pinhole leaks in corroding copper, lead or galvanized steel piping.
Gillanders' company, ACE DuraFlo(R) Systems LLC, based in Placentia, Calif., provides an alternative to repiping that has multiple patents pending. This service can be performed on the average home in just a day or two -- without tearing down walls. After shutting off the water supply, technicians connect special equipment to key access points in the water piping system and perform three primary steps. First, pipes are drained, heated and air-dried. Then the insides of the pipes are cleaned using special corundum to remove any scaling or corrosion of the metal. Finally, a proprietary epoxy is dispersed throughout the plumbing pipes, under pressure, to form the protective barrier coating. The coating completely seals the pipe, joints and fitting surfaces. Families can move back into their homes the next day and be assured they'll no longer have to worry about over-the-limit lead content originating from their household piping systems or pinhole leaks that cause water damage or mold growth.
"While we can't do anything about the lead content in water as it enters anyone's property, we can protect their internal piping system from corroding or leaching metals," Gillanders said. "This process doesn't remove the lead from the water, but it seals any lead pipes, lead solder or copper behind the epoxy barrier coating so that water-to-metal contact is eliminated."
Validation of the ACE DuraFlo approach is provided by a well-known office building in downtown Washington, the 1776 G Street building, across from the west wing of the White House. "The water in the building was tested for lead contamination and its lead content tested well above the EPA guideline," Gillanders said. "The management of the building was very proactive about the situation and lined the building's piping system using our protective coating technology. When the water was re-tested, the water quality was well within the EPA guidelines.
"Another growing issue is potential liability for landlords if they provide drinking water that is contaminated by corrosion of their building piping systems," he added. "Metal leaching into the drinking water can create a situation in which the water leaving the faucet may exceed EPA guidelines. This technology provides a permanent, safe solution for use in potable water systems; we use only coating materials that are certified safe for such use by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and the International Association of Plumbing & Mechanical Officials (IAPMO)."