The April 4, 2013, edition of Contractor magazine reports on the plumbing industry survey conducted by Brasscraft Manufacturing regarding awareness of the new “Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act” passed by Congress in December, 2010. The new law goes into effect January 4, 2014, and mandates that all components of pipes or fittings used to transport potable water must be lead-free.
As outlined in this synopsis, the new law includes these important points:
- “Lead free” is defined as 0.25 percent for all components of pipes and fittings based on the weighted average of wetted surfaces. The previous standard had been 8 percent.
- The new law applies to installations and repair, which may make current plumbing inventories illegal by the date of implementation.
- Pipes or fittings designed for use with non-potable water are exempted from the requirements.
In the Brasscraft survey referenced above, 26 percent of the plumbers who responded admitted having no knowledge of the new law, and 24 percent said they were unaware that they could not use non-compliant inventory in 2014.
To help publicize the requirements of the Act, leaders in the plumbing industry created Get the Lead Out Plumbing Consortium. The Consortium offers training, seminars, webinars and answers to Frequently Asked Questions for
To assist plumbing firms in the transition, two Zurn Industries executives offered insights from their experiences in the lead-free conversion of their company’s products. The executives, Frank Schaetzke and Sean Martin, spoke at the Mechanical Contractors Association of America 2013 convention in San Antonio, Texas. They presented strategies for contractors to use in complying with the law, depleting their current inventory, and minimizing their risks in bidding. Zurn was the first company to completely eliminate lead from their products.
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