Get the Lead Out

Beginning on January 4, 2014, the REDUCTION OF LEAD IN DRINKING WATER ACT will go into effect.  This is a new law is intended to reduce the amount of lead in drinking (or “potable”) water applications.  In order to achieve this objective, the law will revise the legal definition of LEAD FREE as that term pertains to products used in the installation or repair of any plumbing in facilities that provide drinking water. 

Once this new law goes into effect, the allowable lead content for products used in a drinking water application will be as follows: 

  • For wetted surfaces of pipe, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings and fixtures, the allowable lead content level will be decreased from 8% down to a weighted average of 0.25%
  • With respect to solders and flux, the allowable lead content will remain at a weighted average of 0.20%.  This requirement has not been changed.

The new law, however, will not apply to all products used in a drinking water application.  The following products will not be subject to the new LEAD FREE requirements:

  • Toilets;
  • Bidets;
  • Urinals;
  • Fill valves;
  • Flushometer valves;
  • Tub fillers;
  • Shower valves;
  • Service saddles; and
  • Water distribution main gate valves 2” in diameter or larger

In addition, any pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, or fixtures, including backflow preventers, that are used exclusively for nonpotable services such as manufacturing, industrial processing, irrigation, outdoor watering, or any other uses where the water is not anticipated to be used for drinking will also be exempt from the new law.

Please also remember to reference your particular state and local regulations as they may vary from the specific requirements imposed by the REDUCTION OF LEAD IN DRINKING WATER ACT.