As of January 2014 revisions to the Safe Drinking Water Act made it illegal to install and pipe, or plumbing fitting or fixture, any solder, or any flux, during the installation or repair of a public water system or customer’s drinking water plumbing unless it meets the following definition of “lead-free”:
- not containing more than 0.2 percent lead when used with respect to solder and flux; and
- not more than a weighted average of 0.25 percent lead when used with respect to the wetted surfaces of pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, and fixtures.
Additionally, in 1991, the EPA published the Lead and Copper Rule. This rule requires that all public drinking water systems regularly test a sample of high-risk homes for lead at the tap. If more than 10 percent of homes tested have lead concentrations higher than the EPA “action level” of 15 parts per billion, individual water utilities are required to notify area residents via newspapers, radio, TV and other means. If the lead level remains consistently above the action level, the water supplier must take steps to control corrosion. The EPA is currently considering long term revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule.