Construction Industry Compliance Assistance

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Lead Pipes and Plumbing Fixtures

On September 1, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the final regulation "Use of Lead Free Pipes, Fittings, Fixtures, Solder, and Flux for Drinking Water." In the final rule, EPA makes conforming changes to existing regulations based on the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act (RLDWA) and the Community Fire Safety Act enacted by Congress. The final rule also requires that manufacturers or importers certify that their products meet the requirements using a consistent verification process within 3 years of the final rule publication date in the Federal Register. As a result, this new rule will reduce lead in drinking water and assure that states, manufacturers, inspectors and consumers have a common understanding of "Lead Free" plumbing. 

Section 1417(a)(3) of the SDWA makes it unlawful for any person to introduce into commerce plumbing items if they are not lead free. Section 1417(d) defines "lead free" as:

The rule also created exemptions (SDWA Section 1417(a)(4)) from the prohibitions on the use or introduction into commerce for pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings or fixtures, including backflow preventers, that are used exclusively for nonpotable services such as manufacturing, industrial processing, irrigation, outdoor watering, or any other uses where the water is not anticipated to be used for human consumption.

More Information

Summary of the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act and Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and Answers About the Final Lead Free Rule

How to Identify Lead Free Certification Marks for Drinking Water System & Plumbing Products (2015 Fact Sheet)

EPA Safe Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.