Safe Drinking Water Act

The information contained herein is not intended as legal advice and should not be relied upon in making legal determinations. YES Energy Management® (“YES) does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, currency, or completeness of the information contained herein. YES strongly recommends that you consult with your own legal counsel to ensure full compliance with any applicable laws, regulations, or requirements.

FAQ’s — Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act

Q. What is the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act?

A. The Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act amends the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) to change the definition of ‘lead-free’ by lowering permissible lead content from 8% to not more than 0.25% in the wetted surface material.

The new lead-free requirement came into force on January 4, 2014.

Q. Does the Safe Drinking Water Act require me to purchase certified products?

A. No. The Safe Drinking Water Act does not require third party certification.

Whilst there is no federal requirement to purchase certified products, certain state and local rules may require third party certification (e.g. California per Cal.Health & Safety Code § 116875(g)(1)). These additional local rules can be considered as establishing a de facto certification requirement, since most manufacturers will seek a single approval path for federal and state level.

Q. What optional certifications exist that could be used to demonstrate compliance with the lead content requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act?

A. NSF/ANSI Standard 372 or NSF/ANSI Standard 61-G.

Q. What is NSF/ANSI Standard 372?

A. NSF/ANSI Standard 372 certifies that the product meets a weighted average lead content of 0.25%.

Q. What is NSF/ANSI Standard 61?

A. NSF/ANSI Standard 61 tests the leachate levels of lead and about 250 other trace level contaminants and certifies that the product meets leachate requirements for all contaminants.

Q. Does NSF/ANSI Standard 61 verify the weighted average lead content of a product?

A. No. NSF/ANSI Standard 61 tests the amount of lead that leaches into the test water. It does not test the amount of lead in the product and therefore does not certify compliance with the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act.

Q. What is Annex F?

A. Annex F is the section of NSF/ANSI Standard 61 that defines how much lead is allowed to leach into the test water.

Q. Do I need to specify Annex F?

A. No. As of July 1, 2012 all products certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 61 meet the Annex F requirement. NSF updates their listings daily. You can search the listings at www.nsf.org

Q. What is Annex G?

A. Annex G is an optional certification that can be added to NSF/ ANSI Standard 61 to verify the weighted average lead content of a product and certifies compliance with the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act.

Since 2010, Annex G simply references NSF/ANSI 372. It is retired as of October 13 2013, but NSF will support G certification marks for so long as they are valid. NSF/ANSI Standard 61-G is a combination of NSF/ANSI Standard 61 and NSF/ANSI Standard 372.

Q. Does the lead-free requirement apply to landlords who own and use water submeters?

A. In 2003 the Environmental Protection Agency indicated that multifamily landlords who own and use water submeters are not subject to the SDWA provisions imposed on public water systems. However, SDWA’s lead free requirements (as amended by the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act) apply generally to any person installing or repairing any fitting or fixture (such as submeters) in a residential or nonresidential facility providing water for human consumption. In addition, state and local plumbing codes may incorporate NSF/ANSI standards by reference.

Q. What action does the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act require?

A. The changes instituted by the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act became effective on January 4, 2014. Any water submeter installed after this date must be fully compliant with the lead-free requirement. There are no exceptions for back inventory of water submeters.

If a previously installed meter needs to be replaced, it must be replaced by a meter which complies with the lead-free requirement.

Water meters installed prior to January 4, 2014 do not need to be replaced, so long as they comply with the lead free requirements in force at the time of installation.

The following table illustrates which certifications comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act as amended by the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act.

  • NSF/ANSI 372

  • NSF/ANSI 61

  • NSF/ANSI 61- F

  • NSF/ANSI 61 – G

The information contained herein is not intended as legal advice and should not be relied upon in making legal determinations. YES Energy Management (“YES) does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, currency, or completeness of the information contained herein. YES strongly recommends that you consult with your own legal counsel to ensure full compliance with any applicable laws, regulations, or requirements.