The 2011 Reduction Drinking Water Act  reduces the permissible Lead content in plumbing fixtures, fittings and components with wetted surfaces  to a maximum of “not more than a weighted average of 0.25% (lead) when used with respect to the wetted surfaces of pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, and fixtures.”

This is why the new regulation.
This is why the new regulation.

This law goes into effect nationwide on January 4, 2014. It is in addition to other state regulations already in effect, including California AB 1953, Vermont’s Lead in Consumer Products Law, Act 193, and  Maryland’s House Bill 372.

Certification by an independent third party that the products comply with the lead content limits are a requirement of the federal and some of these state laws.

ANSi/NSF 372 contains the lead content evaluation procedure originally detailed in ANSI/NSF 61 Annex G as well as testing and material lead content analysis. This standard applies ” to any drinking water system component that conveys or dispenses water for human consumption through drinking or cooking.” It matches the scope called for in AB1953 as well as the new federal rule.

The version available at the link above clarifies intent with regard to percent of threads regarding wetted contact area…

What are the implications regarding the upcoming January deadline for the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act?

  1. You may be getting more orders for leaded products right now in an effort to beat the deadline
  2. You will not be able to manufacture components for ‘wetted application” from traditional High Lead materials after the law goes into effect in January.
  3. You will need to use less machinable (lower lead) materials for order that you receive going forward.
  4. Your shop throughput, efficiency, and capacity will be reduced by the move to less machinable materials.

Make sure that your sales people, estimators, and shop planners  are up to speed on the consequences of this change to ‘unleaded.’

Our article “Adjusting  to Unleaded” will help you understand this issue and its implications for your shop.

Our thanks to Chris Johnston Photography for the photo.