On January 4, 2014, a new law goes into effect across America that will impact the plumbing in your home here in Colorado. Its an amendment to the Safe Drinking Water Act, and will require all products sold or installed that come into contact with drinking water to have a 0.25% maximum lead content for all wetted components, including pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings and fixtures.

New Lead Free Law For 2014 – Are Your Pipes Ready?The driving force behind this legislation is to minimize the lead content in drinking water and drinking water system components that come in contact with potable water. If there is a chance the water will be used for drinking, the law impacts the pipes and fittings.

The new standard does not apply to pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings or fixtures that are used exclusively for non-potable systems – things like manufacturing, industrial processing, irrigation, outdoor watering or any other system deemed not used for human consumption. The law also exempts toilets, bidets, urinals, fill valves, tub fillers, shower valves, or water distribution main gate valves that are two inches in diameter or larger.

As of January 4, 2014, it will be illegal to sell or install products for use in potable water applications that are not lead free. The EPA is tasked with implementing this law. However, most states are tasked with enforcing the law, and will be regulated at the city, town and municipal level.

So how do you tell if you are in compliance? Currently there is no industry standard regarding the marking of lead free products. Manufacturers will use a variety of ways to mark their products. Check the product nameplate, body casting, part number or production packaging for lead free designation. If in doubt, contact the manufacturer direct. If you are using a plumber, ask about compliance with the law and what products he is using that meet current approved standards.

Failure to comply with the new law can result in fines or lawsuits.

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