Safe Drinking Water Director Advises Consumers on Finding Lead-Free Plumbing

Do-it-yourselfers looking to replace the faucets, fittings, and solder coming in contact with their homes’ drinking water have their work cut out for them. Finding lead-free materials for residential plumbing projects can be so complicated that the EPA released an 11-page guide to deciphering the standards and symbols of eight separate third-party certifiers of lead content.

Director of NEMWI’s Safe Drinking Water Research and Policy Program, Elin Betanzo, was featured in a story by Michigan Radio on the confusing packaging of faucets, fittings, and solder sold in retail. Ms. Betanzo took Michigan Radio to her local Michigan hardware store to look at packaging up-close and point out what to look for when searching for lead-free plumbing fixtures.

Her advice? Don’t take packaging that says “lead free” at its word. Instead, look for fine print stating “0.25% weighted average lead content” and a third-party certification symbol with NSF 61 or NSF 372 near it.

You can read the full story here.

The Safe Drinking Water Research and Policy Program builds on NEMWI’s long-standing engagement in water quality research, policy analysis, and education and outreach relating to water quality and safe drinking water by expanding its capabilities to the region more broadly. Through the development of scientific, non-partisan, and independent research and policy analysis, the program seeks to use objective data findings to inform and provide technical assistance and education to policy-makers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to support local and regional drinking water policy improvements.

You can read more about the SDWRPP here.