WQA develops program for low lead laws in California, Vermont

LISLE, ILL. — The Water Quality Association recently announced a new certification program for companies facing low lead laws that will go into effect Jan. 1, 2010, in California.

Beginning in 2010, California state law will prohibit the introduction into commerce of any product intended to convey or dispense water for human consumption that is not lead free, as defined in the California Health and Safety Code Section 116875 revisions as per Assembly Bill 1953. The maximum allowable lead content will be 0.2% lead in solder and flux, and 0.25% lead in products made to convey or dispense drinking water, determined by a weighted average of wetted surface areas.

All pipe, pipe or plumbing fixtures, solder or flux must be certified by an independent American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited, third-party certification body. Other products covered by the new California regulation (such as drinking water treatment products) may be required to obtain certification through an ANSI-accredited certification body as well.

The WQA now offers certification for low lead compliance to California regulations and will work with companies to be compliant before the Jan. 1 deadline. Vermont has passed similar rules, which are covered by the new WQA certification program. Under the process WQA will perform a desktop review of lead content, WQA’s laboratory will perform XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence) scanning on materials that contain lead in their formulation and some materials that are disclosed not to contain lead in their formulation to confirm the exact lead content, and digestion will be performed if the results from the XRF scan are higher than the disclosed percentage lead content.

Products registered under the California’s water treatment device certification law will not require additional third-party certification to the low lead standard, but all products will have to comply with the revisions to the California Health and Safety Code using one of the following methods:

• Self-certify or substantiate that products comply.

• Third-party laboratory testing demonstrating compliance.

• Product certification using an ANSI-accredited certification body to verify compliance.

If anyone has questions or would like to get the process started, the WQA Gold Seal sales staff may be contacted at 630-505-0160. Staff will explain the documentation needed to obtain certification.