The Water Quality Association launched a new certification program for companies facing low-lead laws that will go into effect Jan. 1 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 in Assembly Bill 1953. The maximum allowable lead content will be 0.2 percent lead in solder and flux, and 0.25 percent lead in products made to convey or dispense drinking water, determined by a weighted average of wetted surface areas.

All pipe, plumbing fixtures, solder or flux must be certified by an independent American National Standards Institute-accredited third-party. 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.

Vermont has passed similar rules, which are covered by the new WQA certification program. The WQA will work with companies to be compliant before the Jan. 1 deadline. 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.

  • Digestion will be performed if the results from the XRF scan are higher than the disclosed percentage lead content.

Products registered under 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.

For questions on the certification process, contact the WQA Gold Seal sales staff at: 630-505-0160.