It is definitely a race against time for industrial companies whose plants have complex plumbing and water management systems. Kevin Westerling of Water Online gives us more information:
The clock is ticking, counting down to the new “lead free” mandate (or latest misnomer), effective Jan. 4, 2014, which will be considerably stricter than the current federal requirement. Under the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act, signed Jan. 4, 2011, “lead free” will be redefined as “not more than a weighted average of 0.25% lead when used with respect to the wetted surfaces of pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, and fixtures.”
Although “lead free” still doesn’t mean completely free of lead, 0.25% (0.2% with respect to solder and flux) is a far cry from the current definition of 8.0%. Semantics aside, the repercussions of the altered definition are significant. Come next year, it will be illegal to sell or install products that do not adhere to the new requirement.
The implications of the mandate can be daunting for industrial firms that have not upgraded their pipe and compression fittings for years. These include chemical plants, desalination facilities, and oil refineries. While lead remains a critical component in car batteries, it is a dangerous substance to use in water pipe fittings, fixtures, and plumbing fittings.
The health hazards associated with lead exposure are far from benign: aside from lower hemoglobin and sperm counts, lead poisoning has been linked to permanent behavioral and learning disorders in children. In severe cases, lead poisoning can lead to seizures and death. If you’re operating a company that specializes in basic services, part of the upgrades would include installing sturdy Lead Free Fittings from suppliers like Gruner Brass Fittings Corp.
The wetted parts of plumbing pipes, fittings, and fixtures include meters, expansion tanks, backflow preventers, assorted gauges, valves, and other components. Wetted parts refer to the components that come into contact with water that may well end in human consumption. By installing policy-compliant compression and pipe fittings, companies can avoid expensive fines, the loss of licenses, installed product removal costs, lawsuits, and other untoward scenarios.
So far, four states—California, Vermont, Maryland, and Louisiana—have enacted lead free legislation. Reputable Lead Free Brass Fittings suppliers can provide standard-sized lead free fittings, as well as customized fittings that adhere to the specifications of clients. This way, companies can pass the assessments of environmental inspectors.
(Article Excerpt and Image from Are You Ready For ‘Lead Free’ 2014?; Water Online)