The KTP project aims to optimise this process further and key to this is identifying the minerals that are being formed and which of them is the least soluble, so that it provides the best protection against lead being dissolved.
"We want to find out if there is a way to adapt the chemistry of the water so as to influence it to grow the least soluble mineral," says Dr Derrick, who has been investigating the effects when he varies the concentration of the phosphate.
He has been able to use state-of-the-art X-ray diffraction equipment newly installed at the University of Huddersfield, where he has also installed a lead-pipe rig provided by Yorkshire Water, so that he can simulate a domestic water supply.
He is now beginning to shift the emphasis of his research from the laboratory to the real world and will be working on-site at various Yorkshire Water treatment plants and investigating water from different sources, such as boreholes and rivers.
South Wales-born Dr Derrick is excited by his involvement in the KTP.
"Taking chemistry from the lab into the real world is what really interests me," he says. "And it is vital for everybody to have the best possible water."
University of Huddersfield