Plumbosolvency

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Plumbosolvency is the ability of a solvent, notably water, to dissolve lead. In the public supply of water this is an undesirable property. In (usually older) consumers' premises plumbosolvent water can attack lead pipes and the lead in solder used to join copper and steel pipes leading to increased lead levels at the tap. As a consequence, lead is a common contaminant of drinking water.

Plumbosolvency of water can be countered by increasing the pH with lime or sodium hydroxide (lye), or by the addition of phosphate at the water treatment works.

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