Frequent Questions

I am a manufacturer of stand-alone appliances that are not connected to a potable water distribution system (i.e. non-plumbed), such as coffee makers or pour through water filters. Are these types of items required to meet the new definition of lead free

These stand-alone, non-plumbed, appliances or devices do not logically fit within the statutory reference to pipes, fittings or fixtures because they are not plumbed in and they are not part of the drinking water distribution system. The focus of SDWA Section 1417 is to prevent the contamination of the drinking water in the distribution system by lead that has leached from pipes, faucets and other fixtures incidental to the delivery of potable water. As noted in the legislative history of the 1996 amendments to Section 1417, "[i]t is the intent of the Committee that the terms pipe and plumbing fittings and fixtures in the legislation are in reference to drinking water applications…." EPA does encourage manufacturers to avoid the use of lead in such appliances and EPA also encourages consumers to consult the manufacturers of these items to make sure that they do not contain lead.

Where such devices are, however, integrated into pipes, fitting or fixtures for the delivery of water, such as a plumbed in coffee maker, they would logically come within the scope of the new lead free requirements.

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