Water Well Journal

May 2015

Water Well Journal

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/498253

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Page 46 of 91

H opefully by now you're familiar with the lead-free drinking water rules as they pertain to your work in the groundwater industry with water applications for human consumption. The rules from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have been in place for more than 16 months and have explicit guidelines contractors must follow when delivering drinking water to their customers. With this article, let's make sure you understand what the rules say and how you can be certain you're staying in compliance on new installations—and more importantly, when you bring those old installations up to the new code. Why Do We Need Lead Free? It's important to limit contact with lead as a contractor and as a consumer. According to the Centers for Disease Control: There are approximately half a million U.S. children ages 1-5 with blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter, the reference level at which CDC recommends public health actions be initiated. Unfortunately, exposure has been linked to lead in our aging municipal drinking water infrastructure, some of which is more than 50 years old, or in the plumbing and pipes of older homes. According to the CDC, lead poisoning is a slow and often overlooked process with flu-like symptoms. The CDC website adds: Exposure to high levels of lead may cause anemia, weakness, and kidney and brain damage. Very high lead exposure can cause death. Acts and Lead Laws The Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 was enacted to pro- tect the public health and outlaw the use of chemicals by busi- nesses that could harm consumers. The law was revisited and amended in 1986 and in 1996 to protect drinking water and its sources including rivers, lakes, reservoirs, springs, and groundwater wells. The Federal Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act was enacted in 2011. Four states (California, Maryland, Vermont, and Louisiana) have followed by passing their own lead-free laws as well. One of California's laws, Proposition 65, is one of the more stringent in the world. Under the EPA rules, section 1417(d) defines lead free: 1. When used with respect to solders and flux, refers to solder and flux containing not more than 0.2% lead 2. When used with respect to pipes and pipe fittings, refers to pipe and pipe fittings containing not more than 8.0% lead 3. When used with respect to plumbing fittings and fixtures, refers to plumbing fittings and fixtures in compliance with standards established in accordance with subsection (e). Jeffrey W. Williams, MGWC, CVCLD, vice president of Spafford and Sons Water Wells in Jericho, Vermont, is certainly familiar with all of the lead-free rules. "Vermont followed California in the making of their own rule long before the federal rule took effect," says Williams, who is the president-elect for the National Ground Water Association. "Due to the state law, we had several years LEAD-FREE continues on page 46 Now in effect for one year, how's it working? By Lana Straub WWJ May 2015 45 Twitter @WaterWellJournl THE LEAD-FREE DRINKING WATER RULE THE LEAD-FREE DRINKING WATER RULE

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