If you’re in the food service industry in either California or Vermont, then this blog post is for you. New legislation in these two states changes the kind of faucets and pipe fittings that can be installed in restaurants and commercial kitchens starting early next year. California Assembly Bill 1953 and Vermont Senate Bill S152 mandate all plumbing and fixtures that come into contact with water intended for human consumption through drinking or cooking must contain less than 0.25% lead by weight.
The new limit on the lead content of plumbing fixtures goes into effect January 1, 2010. After that time, any new plumbing fixtures purchased in the states of California or Vermont must comply with the new lead limit.
Here’s the breakdown on how your restaurant will be affected:
You don’t have to replace existing fittings. Whatever you’ve got now in your kitchen can stay until it needs to be replaced through normal wear and tear. Just make sure that when you do buy new fittings, they comply with the 0.25% by weight lead limit and are properly certified.
Only plumbing fixtures that dispense water intended for human consumption must comply. Hose reels, washdown stations, service sink faucets, and mop bucket sink faucets are exempt from the new standard. Pantry, lavatory, hand sink, and pot filling faucets must all comply with these new standards, as well as pre-rinses. Pipe fittings must also comply, so keep this in mind when you’re repairing an old faucet or installing a new one. This includes faucet installation kits, foot pedals, and pre-rinse assemblies.
Fittings and fixtures that comply with 1953 and S152 must be certified by an independent third party organization. Make sure the plumbing parts you buy are certified as containing less than 0.25% lead by weight. These products will usually be stamped or labeled with a compliance certification.
For restaurants in Vermont and California, coming into compliance with the new lead standard is as simple as purchasing properly certified plumbing fixtures and fittings after January 1, 2010. Some manufacturers have products that are already compliant with the new standard, and several more are planning to offer compliant fixtures and fitting by January next year.