Despite Fire Hydrant Issues, Lead Free Fittings Still Required

In 2011, the United States government put in effect a law in which domestic, commercial, and industrial facilities are required to utilize lead free fittings on water sources for human consumption. The Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act was announced three years ago in order to be ready to equip their water facilities with lead free components.

Fire Hydrant

As the requirement was set to take effect this year, many properties had gone ahead and began equipping their water installations with lead free compression fittings, even as far back as when the law was originally put into effect. There have been concerns for cities across the country however, of how to fit fire hydrants with the required lead-free fittings. As detailed in an article published on Bloomberg Business week last December 16, 2013:

“Environmental rules that would have forced cities to use lead-free fittings for new fire hydrants will be withdrawn after lawmakers, manufacturers and city officials protested that they were unduly expensive.”

“While legislation to reverse the regulations is pending in Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency on its own said it will revise its guidance on lead in drinking water to exclude fire hydrants. The requirement was set to take effect at the beginning of 2014.”

“Fire hydrants are not widely used as a potable source of water,” the agency said in an e-mailed statement today. “The guidance should be revised to exclude fire hydrants if Congress doesn’t take action.”

Despite these concerns on how to equip fire hydrants with lead-free fittings, it is unlikely that the new regulations would be reversed altogether, as it was initially created for the purpose of ensuring drinking water is kept lead-free. With that, all other water fixtures – apart from fire hydrants – will eventually have to be replaced or repaired with the new specifications, if they haven’t been already.

Property owners looking to replace their fittings can readily order what they need online, with manufacturers like Gruner Brass Fittings Corp. producing and keeping in stock a variety of policy-compliant lead-free fittings, and delivering them anywhere in the country. Facilities with specific style fittings can also have lead-free replacements custom made by the company.

(Article Information and Image from “EPA Fire Hydrant Lead Regulations to Be Reversed After Furor”, Bloomberg Business Week, December 16, 2013)