Grant scheme to replace lead pipes and fittings

Introduction

A grant scheme is in place to help low-income households with the cost of replacing lead piping in their homes. The scheme was introduced under the Domestic Lead Remediation (Financial Assistance) Regulations 2016.

More details of the scheme, including an information leaflet (pdf) and an application form (pdf) are on housing.gov.ie.

Rules

You must own the dwelling and live in it as your principal private residence. The lead pipes and fittings being replaced must form part of a system that carries water for preparing food or drinks or for direct human consumption.

You must get the remedial work done before applying for the grant and it must cost at least €200. Any contractor that you use must give you a current tax clearance certificate or a Revenue Online Service (ROS) printout of an eTax Clearance. They must provide itemised receipts, detailing the work carried out and the associated costs. They must also certify in writing that any materials used, including pipes and fittings, are of appropriate quality and that a proper standard of workmanship has been applied. You will need to enclose these certificates and receipts with your application for the grant.

You must also provide evidence of a risk of lead contamination in your home. Acceptable evidence is either:

  • A notification from your water supplier (Irish Water or a group water scheme) advising that your water system probably contains lead pipes and fittings

or

  • A laboratory certificate issued within the previous 6 months, showing that the level of lead in your water supply is over the legal limit. The issuing laboratory must be accredited by the Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB) for testing for lead in drinking water.

Lead pipes outside your property’s boundary

If your drinking water comes through lead pipes that are outside the boundaries of your property, they must be replaced as well as the internal pipes. If you are a customer of Irish Water and you plan to replace the lead pipes within your property’s boundary, you must first apply for Irish Water’s Customer Opt-In Lead Pipe Replacement Scheme. Under this scheme, Irish Water will replace any lead pipes on the public side of your property’s boundary.

Read more on water.ie.

Home Renovation Incentive (HRI)

You may be able to claim a HRI tax credit if you meet the HRI scheme’s conditions, even if you do not qualify for the grant to replace your lead piping. If you do get a grant and also claim under HRI, the amount of tax credit is reduced. Read more in our document on HRI and in this information leaflet (pdf).

Evidence of income

The grant is means-tested – see ‘Rates’ below. You will have to provide evidence of your household income when applying. This is calculated as your gross taxable income in the previous tax year, together with that of your spouse or partner. The required evidence is:

  • For employees paying tax under PAYE, a balancing statement (P21) or equivalent document from Revenue
  • For self-employed people, a notice of income tax assessment or equivalent document from Revenue
  • For people on social welfare payments, a statement of income from the Department of Social Protection

Rates

The level of grant is based on the household’s gross annual income in the previous tax year, as set out in the table below.

Household income per year Percentage of approved costs available Maximum grant payable
Up to €50,000

80%

€4,000
€50,001 to €75,000 50% €2,500
Over €75,000 No grant No grant

How to apply

Complete the application form (pdf) as outlined in the accompanying information notes, and send it, along with the required documentation, to your local authority.

For information on how to apply for Irish Water’s Customer Opt-In Lead Pipe Replacement Scheme, read more on water.ie or contact Irish Water on 1850 278 278 or +353 1 707 2828.

Further information

Lead can be present in drinking water, as lead piping, lead solder and lead-lined water tanks were commonly used in plumbing up to and including the 1970s, so some people may still be getting water through these older plumbing systems. Lead is a danger to health, especially for young children, pregnant women and babies fed on formula, so water for drinking and cooking should contain as little lead as possible. The legal level of lead in drinking water is 10 micrograms per litre.

The HSE has published a joint position paper on lead in drinking water (pdf) with the EPA, along with a set of FAQs. A national strategy to reduce lead exposure has been published and Irish Water has prepared a national mitigation plan (pdf).

Page edited: 21 September 2017