Consultation RIS open: Lead in plumbing products in contact with drinking water

Thursday, 10 December 2020 Image of glass with water being poured into it

As part of the ABCB’s Lead in Plumbing Products Project, a Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) on lead in plumbing products in contact with drinking water was opened today.

A small amount of lead is currently permitted by Australian Standards for use in the manufacture of plumbing products. The exact lead content of products varies by component, though some products in contact with drinking water contain up to 6% lead as a proportion of raw material.

According to an expert report commissioned by the ABCB in 2018, while drinking water meets the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines under the current regulatory framework, copper alloy components installed between the point of connection and point of discharge is a principle source of lead addition.

Despite this, it is to be stressed that the quality of Australia’s reticulated water supply is of an extremely high quality and instances where lead levels exceed the Guidelines are rare.

As a result, this Consultation RIS aims to determine whether the allowable levels of lead in the manufacture of copper alloy plumbing products and material specifications that come into contact with drinking water, should be reduced.

Providing comment

The ABCB invites comment from all stakeholders using the online consultation form until 11:59PM AEDT Monday 1 March 2021.