Electron microscope images of the mineral scale on lead water pipes

The image below shows the mineral scale on the insides of a lead water pipe with no phosphate added to the tap water.

Control

The scale bar (……….) is 3 microns (a human hair is about 80 microns).

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This shows the mineral scale on the insides of a lead water pipe when phosphate has been added to the tap water. I haven’t seen many scales looking like this but I have added it because its so beautiful. The wheatsheaf shapes structures are crystals of lead phosphate minerals. Lead phosphate minerals have a very low solubility and so by growing on the walls of the pipe they prevent lead from building up in the tap water.

phosphate dosed

The scale bar (………….) is 10 microns

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