I just had a pressure reducing valve (Watts LF 25AUB Z3) and expansion tank (Watts PLT-12) installed by a City of Ottawa (Ontario) contractor - these items both specify NSF-61 compliance, but also specify the disclaimer "The wetted surface of this product contacted by consumable water contains less than 0.25% of lead by weight."

My understanding is that there is no safe level of lead in drinking water and that it is usually measured in micrograms/L.

Does anyone know what the disclaimer actually means? And what is the maximum amount of lead expected to be leached into my water?



This is simply a statement by the manufacturer of the lead content in the valve material that could contact the water running through it. The composition of a solid material is expressed by % weight in this example. .25% is considered "lead free" in the U.S.

The amount of lead "leached" into drinking water cannot be perfectly predicted due to so many variables (water chemistry, temperature, velocity, etc.) so there are limits on lead content of the components.

The U.S. EPA says this: "Section 1417 of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) establishes the definition for “lead free” as a weighted average of 0.25% lead calculated across the wetted surfaces of a pipe, pipe fitting, plumbing fitting, and fixture..."

EPA prohibits the "use of any pipe, any pipe or plumbing fitting or fixture, any solder, or any flux, after June 1986, in the installation or repair of (i) any public water system; or (ii) any plumbing in a residential or non-residential facility providing water for human consumption, that is not lead free.”

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    Basically, the manufacturer is saying "this product meets the current legal definition of 'lead-free'". They're not saying anything about how much, if any, lead is actually present in the valve. – Mark Apr 6 '18 at 20:57

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