Leading the Way in Lead-Free

Simplifying lead-free laws and what they mean for you

A New Wave

Reducing lead is not new. But getting it to a national standard is. Regulatory changes have emerged in various states since the late 90s, but lead-free legislation has now taken the national stage. On January 4, 2011, President Obama signed into federal law the “Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act,” also known as Senate Bill 3874. Full compliance is required by January 4, 2014.

And with the new law comes a new standard. A 0.25% maximum lead content, which is measured through a weighted average, is mandated of all pipes, fixtures and fittings that are sold in the U.S. for installations delivering water for human consumption.

Know Your Terms

Legislative Action

  • “U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act”: Original legislation (1986). 8% allowable lead content.
  • AB 1953: Original California Assembly bill. Started the lead-free content movement with 0.25% allowable lead content.
  • Senate Bill 3874: The national bill that passed as “The Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act.”
  • “Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act”: Amended “Safe Drinking Water Act” (2011). 0.25% allowable lead content.

Standards

  • NSF/ANSI 372: The material testing standard developed by NSF International and stakeholders
  • NSF/ANSI 61: The water testing standard developed by NSF International and stakeholders

Know Your Deadlines

  • California - January 2010
  • Vermont - January 2010
  • Maryland - January 2012
  • Louisiana - January 2013
  • All Others - January 2014

A Culture of Preparation and Prevention

As always, you can rely on T&S to follow the letter of the law. And when it comes to low-lead and “lead-free” products, T&S Brass foresaw the need for change and forged ahead — well in advance of the federal legislation. After California passed AB1953, like many companies, T&S initially created two domestic product lines—one for California and one for the other 49 states. However, it wasn’t long before we made the bold decision to change the entirety of our domestic product line to comply with emerging standards. In 2010, T&S became the first fixture, faucet and fitting manufacturer to convert its entire line of products designed for human water consumption to meet the NSF 372 lead-free requirement.

And since that progressive shift toward lead-free products, T&S Brass continues to be an industry leader by manufacturing products that are reliable and that meet and exceed safety, environmental and health standards. Not only has T&S anticipated the progress toward lead-free legislation, but we’ve also helped make it happen. We proactively supported the federal legislation and pushed for an even market across the nation. Our involvement and leadership helped create a consistent standard that will make it easier for specifying and stocking plumbing products.

Ready Already

All T&S and equip products:

  • Satisfy the federal requirements already
  • Have only one set of SKUs to manage
  • Eliminate the need for confusing changes in the future

What this means for you:

Stocking:

Be sure you stock products that meet the new requirements. Otherwise, you may be stuck with non-compliant overhead when the change takes effect in 2014. With T&S, it’s easy. We have one set of SKUs that meet all current standards, as well as the new national legislation.

Specification:

Specifying engineers play an important role. By preventing bidders from subbing in non-compliant products, specifying engineers help eliminate the use of improper materials. Simply add a compliance note in your spec, requiring that any product designed for dispensing potable water meet both the NSF 61 and NSF 372 test standards via third-party testing and certification.

 

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