Australia has begun its three-year transition to reduce allowable lead levels in many plumbing products. This initiative aims to improve water quality and safeguard public health. To support the transition, the Lead Free WaterMark trademark has been registered, and WaterMark Notice of Direction 2021/4.2 Certification transition arrangements for lead-free plumbing products has been published on the ABCB website.
Here are some key takeaways from the initiative, including what you need to do if you are a manufacturer, supplier, or installer of impacted products:
- New Requirements
Clause A5G4 of NCC 2022 Volume Three (Plumbing Code of Australia) specifies that copper alloy plumbing products in contact with drinking water must limit the allowable lead content to a weighted average lead content of not more than 0.25%. All relevant plumbing products being installed must meet the new requirements by May 1, 2026.
Manufacturers and suppliers of impacted products should contact their WaterMark Conformity Assessment Body to arrange certification to these requirements.
- Acceptable Materials
WaterMark Notice of Direction 2022/1.1 Acceptable copper alloys for the manufacture of lead-free plumbing products provides information about alternative materials for use in the manufacture of lead-free plumbing products.
- Product Marking
WaterMark Notice of Direction 2022/2.0 Marking requirements for lead-free plumbing products provides information about product marking requirements for Lead Free WaterMark certified products.
- Further Information
For more information, check out the "Update: Advice on the new lead requirements" article and see the "Lead in Plumbing Products – Implementation Plan" on the ABCB website.
What You Can Do:
- If you are a manufacturer or supplier of impacted products, contact your WaterMark Conformity Assessment Body to arrange certification to the new requirements.
- If you are an installer of relevant plumbing products, ensure that the products you use meet the new requirements by May 1, 2026.
- Familiarise yourself with the acceptable materials and product marking requirements outlined in the WaterMark Notices of Direction.
- Stay up to date with further information on the ABCB website.