New Federal Lead-free Requirement Helps Protect the Nation’s Drinking Water Supply

On January 4, President Obama signed the “Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act” into law, effective Jan. 4, 2014. This important law, which follows similar mandates such as the federal “Assistance, Quality, and Affordability Act of 2010” and California’s AB 1953, is a critical step in the effort to remove lead from the nation’s drinking water supplies.

While many manufacturers, to remain competitive, already have reduced the lead content in their products, this new law should encourage all manufacturers of drinking water system components to come out with innovative new designs. Plumbing engineers can help by discussing the issue with their suppliers and only specifying lead-free products to prevent lead from leaching into drinking water.

Drinking water that contains lead can cause physical and mental development delays in children and high blood pressure and kidney problems in adults. Removing lead from drinking water system components is an obvious way to help prevent such problems.

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