NO-LEAD is fast approaching!
NO-LEAD is a term used interchangeably with LOW-LEAD and LEAD-FREE, when used in the definition of brass. These terms are used in Laws and Standards to define brasses that are less than 0.25% lead by weight.
What changes have taken place regarding lead content in waterworks brass?
NSF 61 Annex F:
• Annex F was added to the latest revision (NSF/ANSI-61 2007a) and is effective July 1st, 2012, and reduces the allowable leachate limit to 5 ppb from the current 15 ppb.
• The result is that any utility that requires conformance to NSF 61, will effectively be required to use NO-LEAD brass for water services.
US Federal Legislation:
• Bill S.3874 “Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act”
• Passed by the Obama Administration January 5, 2011, with a 3 year phase in period, in full effect January 5, 2014
• Provides a US Federal mandate to adhere to the 0.25% weighted average lead content of wetted surfaces in all potable water systems throughout the United States.
• The above Federal legislation will make it an offence to sell, offer to sell, or install into service any plumbing product or device that may come in contact with potable water, that is in excess of the 0.25% weighted average lead content.
• Health Canada has been asked to include the same wording as the US legislation into the Canadian standards and codes.
• Implementation in Canada is planned to coincide with the US legislation effective January 5, 2014.
What does all this mean?
If you adhere to NSF 61, as of July 1, 2012, brass valves and fittings that are used in contact with potable water that are made from regular brass (85-5-5-5/C83600) will be obsolete.
If you are not adhering to NSF 61, and are following the US legislation or Canadian standards and codes, as of Jan 5, 2014, brass valves and fittings that are used in contact with potable water that are made from regular brass (85-5-5-5/C83600) will be obsolete.
In either case, as the dates are fast approaching, inventories need to be managed to avoid the risk of being left with obsolete inventory. The time to start is NOW!