A consortium of plumbing manufacturers and industry trade associations met in Chicago Aug. 30, 2012, at the invitation of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association Educational Foundation, to develop strategies to alert and prepare industry constituents for upcoming changes in the allowable level of lead in plumbing products. The federal "Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act" was signed into law by President Barack Obama on Jan. 4, 2011. The bill becomes effective Jan. 4, 2014.
The law reduces the permissible
levels of lead in wetted surfaces of faucets, pipes and pipe fittings to 0.25%
from the previous national standard of 8% maximum. While many manufacturers in
the plumbing industry were already meeting these reduced standards, the
plumbing industry supports the uniform national standard to harmonize
requirements, avoiding a patchwork of requirements across the country.
The federal law was spearheaded by
Plumbing Manufacturers International, based upon the template of a California
law generally referred to as AB 1953. Prior to the federal legislation,
Vermont, Maryland and Louisiana have individually adopted the lower-lead
The mission of the consortium is
to provide widespread education about the manufacture, distribution and installation
of lead-free plumbing products. (Lead-free refers to the wetted surface of
pipe, fittings and fixtures in potable water systems that have a weighted
average lead content <=0.25% per the Safe Drinking Water Act (Sec. 1417)
amended 1-4-2011 and other equivalent state regulations.)
distributors, plumbing engineers and code officials are the targets of the
comprehensive communications plan. The multipronged outreach strategy includes
industry trade press events, a website, training programs, support materials
including a “Frequently Asked Questions” guide and educational events at various
industry conventions. In addition to compliance guidelines, the content of the
messaging will also focus on business and legal implications of the new
legislation. The launch date is planned for January 2013.
The concept for the communications
outreach and training consortium evolved from the PHCC Educational Foundation board
of directors. In addition to PHCC, representing the industry at the kick-off meeting
was the American Society of Plumbing Engineers, the American Supply Association,
the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, Plumbing
Manufacturers International, Kohler Co., NIBCO, Reliance Worldwide, T & S Brass
and Bronze Works, Viega and Watts Water Technologies.
“It is rewarding to see such an unprecedented
level of industry collaboration on this national initiative,” said Cindy
Sheridan, chief operating officer, PHCC Educational Foundation, and
facilitator of the meeting. “Information and understanding are critical to
compliance. We are delighted that so many key volunteers accepted our
invitation for this important gathering.”
Source: PHCC Educational
Plumbing industry leaders form consortium to 'Get the Lead Out'
October 1, 2012