Recently, the California Building Standards Commission certified the Environmental Impact Report on crosslinked polyethylene, or PEX, tubing, and unanimously adopted regulations approving PEX water distribution systems into the California Plumbing Code. The new regulations take effect Aug. 1, 2009. Until then, local jurisdictions can adopt a code to use PEX in new and remodel construction before statewide adoption.

Currently, 180 municipalities and counties within the state have approved the use of PEX tubing as an alternate material to copper and other materials used for plumbing piping. Millions of feet of PEX tubing are in use in water distribution systems in residential and commercial applications throughout California.

Under the new state plumbing code, the following agencies will adopt regulations for the use of PEX tubing in the types of construction under their jurisdictions:

  • Housing and Community Development - residential construction, hotels, motels, etc.

  • Division of State Architect–Structural Safety - state-owned buildings, universities, etc.

  • Building Standards Commission - commercial construction not state-owned (retail).

  • Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development - hospitals, health care facilities, etc.