NSF Certifies Backflow Preventer Manufacturer Wilkins to New Lead Requirements

Sept. 23, 2009
NSF Annex G certification supports new requirements for low-lead plumbing products

As of Jan. 1, 2010, new lead content requirements in California (AB 1953) will mandate a maximum weighted average lead content of 0.25% for plumbing products. Wilkins, a Zurn Company, is the first backflow preventer manufacturer certified by NSF International to NSF/ANSI Standard 61: Drinking Water System Components--Health Effects and Annex G low-lead requirements, developed to help protect the public from exposure to lead.

Backflow preventers are mechanical plumbing devices that protect against pollution and contamination by preventing unsafe water from flowing back into the public water supply.

Manufacturers of backflow preventers for potable water service, faucets, valves, water fittings and other products that come in contact with drinking water must meet the new lead requirements, as set forth in the California Health and Safety Code, by Jan. 1, 2010. After this date, any pipe, fitting or fixture intended to convey or dispense water for drinking or cooking must meet a weighted average lead content of 0.25%.

The lead content requirements of Section 116875 of the California Health and Safety Code (also known as AB1953) were incorporated as an annex into the American National Standard for health effects of drinking water system components NSF/ANSI Standard 61: Annex G–Weighted Average Lead Content Evaluation Procedure to a 0.25 Percent Lead Requirement.

To obtain certification, Wilkins demonstrated compliance with all of NSF/ANSI Standard 61, Annex G requirements.

“Obtaining Annex G certification for our backflow preventers is important as our customers will know when they see the NSF Mark on our products that in addition to meeting the new low lead requirements, all health effect and performance requirements have also been met,” said Rick Fields, Wilkins vice president of sales and marketing. “They know that with Wilkins, they are getting the ultimate in backflow prevention protection and performance.”

“Wilkins is setting the standard for other backflow preventer manufacturers to follow,” said Bob Ferguson, NSF International vice president. “We are pleased to issue Wilkins this certification as it demonstrates their commitment to environmental and public health protection.”

Annex G was developed by NSF’s Lead Task Group with guidance from key regulators, proponents of the California lead bill, industry representatives and the NSF Standard 61 Joint Committee. The NSF Joint Committee is comprised of balanced representation from public health, user communities and industry to ensure an open, transparent and consensus process.

Source: NSF International