Is your water utility ready for the new lead rules January 4?

The Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act was enacted in January 2011 prohibiting the installation of pipes, fittings, and fixtures containing lead in the drinking water system on or after January 4, 2014. While existing infrastructure that is in service is grandfathered, any repairs, replacements or additions placed in service after January 4 must meet the new standards. The new rule is commonly associated with pipe, meters, valves, backflow preventers, flexible connectors, gages, fittings, etc. In addition, in October of 2013 the EPA issued responses to frequently asked questions which stated that because hydrants can be used to provide potable water in emergency situations the new rule also applies to hydrants. Parts that the utility has on hand but not installed – referred to as inventory or materials and supplies – which do not meet the new lead-free definition, cannot be used after January 4, 2014.  At this time management should evaluate its water utility inventory on hand to identify items that don’t meet the new standard and which will be obsolete. This evaluation should include meters currently in stock (not installed). These items should be written off or reduced to their estimated scrap value as of December 31, 2013. Please feel free to contact one of our utility specialists to discuss this further.