MESSRS EDITORS—I saw an extract recently, in a paper published in Manchester, N. H., respecting the deleterious effects of water running through lead pipe, upon fish-trout—causing their death. I would state that I have a hydraulic ram—one of J. ives & Co.'s—which throws water through a 100 feet of lead pipe into a reservoir, which contains about 50 hhds. The reservoir is made by scooping out a hole in the earth in a light sandy soil and plastering with several coatings of hydraulic cement, so as to forma thickness of 1 inches, which makes an excellent cistern. I put 13 trout into this reservoir last December, and : they all lived and were healthy until May last, when I built a small house over the reservoir, and plastered it with lime. When the doors of this house were closed, it was rendered nearly air-tight. I left home for about one week, during which period the reservoir was kept closed, and when I returned my trout were all dead. I attribute their death to the want of proper ventilation—the confined air being affected with the lime, which composed the plaster of the house walls. I have a large trout in a tub at my door—this tub is supplied with water through a lead pipe 50 yards long, and a number of my neighbors are supplied from the same fountain. I am satisfied, that no deletereous effects are produced by the water which runs through our lead pipe. I must say, however, that if the water is left some length of time standing motionless in the pipe it will be somewhat impregnated with the lead. R. P. Hyde Park, Vt. [We would state that water, containing some of the lime carbonates, is more sate than pure soft water for family use, if conducted through a lead pipe; the carbonate of lime unites with the lead and soon forms a crust in the inside of the pipe, which prevents the lead from affectingtthe water. Water, however, which is conveyed through a lead pipe should never be suffered to stand in it for any length of time ; at least we caution every person against the use of such water. When the water which is conveyed through a lead pipe has stood motionless in it tor some time, let it ail It. run off before the water is drawn for domestic use. Some of the physicians in I this city (New Yor.V) have published state-merits in our daily papers respecting the injurious effects of Crotoii water conducted through lead pipes. It is our opinion that if the water used in our city is allowed to llow constantly through a lead pipe, no injurious results need be anticipated.
This article was originally published with the title "Water through Lead Pipe" in Scientific American 8, 44, 347 (July 1853)