Surface analysis and depth profiling of corrosion products formed in lead pipes used to supply low alkalinity drinking water

C. M. Davidson*, N. J. Peters, A. Britton, L. Brady, P. H E Gardiner, B. D. Lewis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Modern analytical techniques have been applied to investigate the nature of lead pipe corrosion products formed in pH adjusted, orthophosphate-treated, low alkalinity water, under supply conditions. Depth profiling and surface analysis have been carried out on pipe samples obtained from the water distribution system in Glasgow, Scotland, UK. X-ray diffraction spectrometry identified basic lead carbonate, lead oxide and lead phosphate as the principal components. Scanning electron microscopy/energy-dispersive x-ray spectrometry revealed the crystalline structure within the corrosion product and also showed spatial correlations existed between calcium, iron, lead, oxygen and phosphorus. Elemental profiling, conducted by means of secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) and secondary neutrals mass spectrometry (SNMS) indicated that the corrosion product was not uniform with depth. However, no clear stratification was apparent. Indeed, counts obtained for carbonate, phosphate and oxide were well correlated within the depth range probed by SIMS. SNMS showed relationships existed between carbon, calcium, iron, and phosphorus within the bulk of the scale, as well as at the surface. SIMS imaging confirmed the relationship between calcium and lead and suggested there might also be an association between chloride and phosphorus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-54
Number of pages6
JournalWater Science and Technology
Volume49
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2004

Keywords

  • Chemical analysis
  • Lead
  • Lead pipe corrosion products
  • Lead scale
  • Plumbosolvency

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