The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday announced a final “Use of Lead Free Pipes, Fittings, Fixtures, Solder, and Flux for Drinking Water rule,” implementing the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act of 2011 (RLDWA) and Community Fire Safety Act of 2013. The RLDWA revised the definition of lead-free for pipes, fittings and fixtures used to provide potable water for consumption. RLDWA reduced admissible lead content from 8% to 0.25% by weight based on the wetted surface of the plumbing product. Manufacturers, water systems, and plumbers have been implementing the RLDWA since January 2014. This final rule codifies the statute’s requirements. The rule is effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, but product certification per the rule is not required for three years. Notable rule provisions include: • Manufacturers and importers with more than 10 employees must obtain third-party certification of lead-free status. • Self-certification of lead-free status is allowed for custom fabricated products and manufacturers and importers with less than 10 employees. • EPA is not requiring specific marks or package labeling but does recommend such marks and packaging. • Compliance is based on completed assemblies; individual replacement parts of assemblies need not be individually certified if the assembly is compliant (e.g. meters). • EPA is requiring certification with lead-free definition per the RLDWA and is not requiring certification with a lead leaching standard. • Exemptions are consistent with RLDWA including fire hydrants, service saddles, water distribution main gate valves > 2 in. diameter or larger, and a list of other plumbing components with non-potable uses. • Lining a surface does not eliminate the need to reflect underlying material’s lead content in calculating compliance with lead-free definition. • States are required to enforce use of lead-free pipes, fittings and fixtures in potable water systems. Questions can be directed to Steve Via , AWWA’s director of federal relations, or Paul Olson , AWWA’s senior manager of standards.