What is the purpose of lead plumbing legislation?
To reduce public lead exposure by regulating the amount of lead that is permissible in plumbing products which are anticipated to convey or dispense water for human consumption through cooking or drinking. The law changes the definition of “lead-free” in Section 1417 of the Safe Drinking Water Act to a maximum weighted average lead content of 0.25% measured by the wetted surface area of components of the product. This primarily affects products that are constructed of brass and/or bronze.
When does the federal legislation take effect?
January 4, 2014
Which states have passed lead reduction legislation?
All remaining states will have federal legislation taking effect 1/4/2014
Who is responsible for compliance with the legislation?
Anyone installing or entering into commerce plumbing products that are intended to convey water for cooking or drinking purposes is responsible.
What is meant by the term “entering into commerce”?
Once a product is sold, it has “entered into commerce.” This affects manufacturers, distributors, retailers, contractors, building developers, and end-users.
How will the law affect homeowners?
For potable water use, the only products available for purchase by the homeowner must comply with the lead-free restrictions. Any previously installed products are exempt from this legislation.
Are sensor faucets required to meet the January 4, 2014 lead reduction legislation?
Technically, the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act states that sensor operated faucets are exempt from lead-free requirements. Zurn, however, believes in eliminating any risk associated in lead content levels with products that may indirectly affect human water consumption . For example, potential lead exposure could occur when sensor faucets are installed in applications where users are washing their hands prior to preparing food or examining patients. Zurn is taking a proactive approach and offers a line of sensor faucet products that will meet lead-free requirements.
How are products for landscape or irrigation affected?
Irrigation products are currently not affected by the legislation since the water is not anticipated to be used for drinking or cooking purposes.
How are fire sprinkler systems affected?
Fire protection products are currently not affected by the legislation since the water is not anticipated to be used for drinking or cooking purposes.
How do I identify Zurn products that are lead-free law compliant?
Zurn products designated with an “XL” suffix are designed and manufactured to comply with lead restrictions. (Exceptions: Zurn Wilkins 40XL, 950XLT and 975XL product lines will be designated as XLT2 and XL2). Products are tagged to indicate compliance to the law. Zurn has also changed all ball valve handles and thermostatic mixing valve caps from blue to green for quick and easy identification.
How does lead reduction legislation affect the cost of products that are compliant?
Lead-free materials used in the manufacture of plumbing products are more expensive than traditional materials. This will affect the cost of any product subject to compliance to lead reduction legislation. Products that contain more brass or bronze material will be more expensive than designs that minimize the brass or bronze content.
Will the lead-free restriction affect the quality of products?
No, quality will not be compromised. Lead-free materials are designed to have equal or greater mechanical and functional properties than traditional materials used in the manufacturing process.
What should I do if my water supply contains products that are not in compliance with the federal lead-free law?
Nothing – the federal law affects only products that are sold or installed on or after January 4, 2014.
What about repair parts for my existing products – must they be in compliance?
Since the repair kit is a product being introduced into commerce, the repair kit will need to be compliant. As long as the original valve was installed prior to January 4, 2014, you do not need to replace the existing valve body.
How will the federal government enforce lead-free legislation?
The federal government requires through the Safe Drinking Water Act that the states shall enforce the lead free law via state and local plumbing codes or other methods determined by the states.
Do compliant products need to be certified?
The amended Safe Drinking Water Act does not require products to be certified by an ANSI accredited third party to demonstrate that they meet the 0.25% maximum weighted average lead content requirement. However, states such as California already require third party certification. Since all states are responsible to enforce the Safe Drinking Water Act, they will likely adopt certification requirements similar to California.
Are lead reduction legislation and NSF/ANSI Standard 61 the same?
No, lead reduction legislation only restricts the lead in plumbing products to a 0.25% weighted average lead content. NSF/ANSI Standard 61 is a performance based standard that targets numerous contaminants including lead. When a product is tested to NSF/ANSI Standard 61, it is exposed to water and the water is then tested for metal and organic contaminants that must fall below limits set by the EPA. Certification to NSF/ANSI Standard 61 does not guarantee the product complies with lead reduction legislation. However, the EPA has worked with NSF to create Annex G as an addendum to NSF/ANSI Standard 61 and NSF/ANSI Standard 372 as a standalone standard identical to Annex G which both demonstrate compliance to the 0.25% weighted average lead content. So products that are certified to NSF/ANSI 61, Annex G or NSF/ANSI 372 comply with lead reduction legislation.
What can I do if I would like more information?
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