An article on the Vending Times website published last December 30, 2013 details how different industrial and commercial establishments must already be able to comply with a “lead-free” standard by the beginning of 2014, particularly with regard to having lead-free valves and fittings installed in the plumbing of where they source the water they use:
“Congress enacted the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act in January 2011. The law amended the Safe Drinking Water Act by reducing the allowable amount of lead in plumbing used for water that is available for human consumption. It provided a three-year transition period during which industry could make the changes needed to comply with the new requirements. This transition period ends on Jan. 4, 2014.
The Act applies to pipes, fittings and fixtures, solder and flux. Supplies that do not meet the new standard cannot be used to repair existing equipment, and must be discarded.
Any coffee brewer, point-of-use water purification system, coffee vending machine or postmix cold drink vender that is plumbed to a building’s water supply must comply with the new standard. The rules also apply to ice machines.”
This means that from now on, any installations which a facility makes in relation to its potable water system must be composed of new pipes, tube fittings, or valve installations that comply with the most recent lead-free standard. Any equipment or materials they have in stock for future use which are not considered lead-free can no longer be utilized and if insisted upon can lead to heavy penalties being levied upon them.
For existing equipment and amenities already in use and had been installed prior to January 4 which do not use lead-free fittings, companies are not necessarily required to replace them at the current time. However, in the event that these need to be replaced or repaired, lead-free materials must also be utilized.
Should a company, or its chosen plumbing specialist or facility maintenance provider, have difficulty sourcing these lead-free compliant fittings, they can look to purchase online from companies like Gruner Brass Fittings Corp. who deliver anywhere in the country. For facilities using specialized equipment, the company also specialized in the production of custom lead-free fittings.
(Article Information and Image from “Plumbed Brewers, Coolers and Vending Machines Must Meet New ‘Lead-Free’”, Vending Times, December 30, 2013)