WORLD WATER – JULY/AUGUST 2017
Winters Instruments recently introduced a line of lead-free instrumentation for potable water to provide a cost-effective alternative to brass. The new line saves professionals from having to switch to more expensive alternatives such as stainless steel to comply with new regulations.
In North America, recent amendments to the US Safe Drinking Water Act (USA SDWA) and the Canadian National Plumbing Code (NPC) were introduced to protect people from the harmful effects of lead in potable water systems. As a result, any fittings and or fixtures that are installed in new plumbing projects or retrofits must not contain more than 0.25 percent lead content by weighted average.
Traditionally, brass contains more than allowable amount of lead. Lead is a highly pliable element commonly combined with other metals to increase their ability to be shaped. Brass has been commonly found in potable water systems because of its durability and affordability. As negative effects of prolonged exposure to lead have been discovered, standard brass has become an unacceptable option in these water systems. The SDWA and NPC ensure that going forward, alternatives to standard brass must be used.
Winters Instruments’ new line addresses the need for a safe and cost-effective solution, according to Peter Chronis, Vice President of Business Development, who is based in the company’s headquarters in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The product line consists of pressure gauges, thermometers, ball and needle valves, pressure snubbers and test plugs. This instrumentation is manufactured with lead-free brass wetted parts that comply with the guidelines established in the SDWA and NPC. Pressure gauge sockets, bourdon tubes, all soldered components, the thermometer thermowells and the valve bodies or snubbers are manufactured with less than 0.25 percent lead in the wetted material and less than 0.20 percent lead in the solder. Instrumentation in the product line is stamped with “LF” to identify them as containing lead-free brass. In addition to the “LF” stamp, pressure gauge dials also have a lead-free logo, easily identifying them as being lead-free compliant.