Water quality in metal pipe systems
Although copper pipework system failures are rare, we are finding more and more issues with copper corrosion in systems and now that pipe walls are getting thinner on copper, these systems are not lasting as long as they used to. One problem we see more through our helpline (which is more of a concern) is blue water.
This is a problem in copper pipe systems where, through water standing in a new pipe system for a long period of time, poor installation, electrolysis or excessive flux entering the system can cause a breakdown in the pipe wall.
This happens because instead of the pipe oxidising (like it should do), it keeps an unoxidised layer on the pipe wall. This then breaks down the copper minerals into the water, causing blue copper crystals to form making blue water. If it is a new system, then keep flushing the water through every day and over time the copper pipe will get lined with an oxidised layer. However, if the blue water persists it must be investigated. Copper (although a natural antibacterial) in larger quantities can be hazardous to health. If you have more than 2 mg/l of copper in your water, this can be dangerous to health. But if you see persistent blue water or your water has a metallic taste then consult your water supplier to get this tested.