Lead in Plumbing Legislation
Federal law -- Section 1417 of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) [Section 300g-6 of 42 U.S. Code (USC)] -- requires that after June 19, 1986, only "lead-free" pipe, solder or flux may be used in the installation or repair of (1) public water systems or (2) any plumbing in a residential or non-residential facility that is connected to a public water system and provides water for human consumption. "Lead free," as defined in the SDWA, means that the maximum allowed concentration is
In addition to the 8.0 percent limitation on lead content, certain plumbing fittings and fixtures must meet with standards established in accordance with section 1417(e) of the SDWA. As discussed further below, federal law requires that plumbing fittings and fixtures must comply with the standards contained in NSF Standard 61, section 9.
A National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR or primary standard) is a legally-enforceable standard that applies to public water systems, given the authority by SDWA.
On January 1, 2010, California law (HSC section 116875) further reduced "lead free" to mean that the maximum allowed lead content is:
The new California law further prohibits:
State law also requires all pipe, pipe or plumbing fittings or fixtures, solder, or flux to be certified as being in compliance with HSC section 116875 by an independent American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited third party.
Further, under HSC section 25214.4.3, DTSC is required, based on available resources and staffing, to conduct lead plumbing monitoring testing, and annually collect field samples for testing and evaluation. The results of testing and evaluation are required to be posted on the DTSC Internet Web site, and transmitted to the Division of Drinking Water of the State Water Resources Control Board, which is the successor to the California Department of Public Health for the purpose of receiving the report of the results.
For all purposes other than manufacturing, industrial processing, or conveying or dispensing water for human consumption, the definition of "lead free" remains consistent with federal requirements: