Lead is toxic and dangerous to human health. Regulations that restrict lead content in devices used for potable water are becoming more pervasive and present new design issues for valve users.
In the U.S., regulations governing lead content of the components of potable water systems have seen considerable changes as safety restrictions tighten. The federal law in effect since January 2014 dictates much lower lead content for certain systems and components than in the past.
This report outlines relevant sections of the law. It then focuses on the choices facing specifiers and purchasers who need to select important components of these systems — two-way solenoid valves — to comply. It considers the calculations that must be made to determine average lead content. Finally, it discusses the pros and cons of common valve materials (brass, lead-free brass, composite/plastic, and stainless steel), as well as other selection advantages.