WASHINGTON — The International Code Council is encouraging jurisdictions that have adopted the 2009 and 2012 International Plumbing Code (IPC) and/or International Residential Code (IRC) to update the codes to meet the new requirements of the Federal Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act that went into effect on January 4, 2014. The measure amends the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act and revises the definition of the term “lead-free” to require no more than 0.25% lead when calculated as a weighted average of the content of the wetted surfaces for plumbing pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings and fixtures conveying water for human consumption.

“While the 2015 I-Codes have been updated to meet federal requirements, we thought in light of public health concerns that it was important for jurisdictions using previous editions of the codes to be in compliance today instead of waiting until the new codes come out this summer,” said ICC Board President Stephen Jones, CBO.

The updates match sections of the 2015 IPC and 2015 IRC that comply with the new federal requirements. The 2015 codes will be published this summer. The federal legislation also requires state enforcement of the requirements in 42 USC § 300g-6 (b) (1) and 42 USC § 300g-6 (c).

“While the changes are brief and match the language in the 2015 IPC and 2015 IRC, ICC strongly recommends jurisdictions update to all the 2015 codes when they become available,” said ICC CEO Dominic Sims, CBO. “There are many other important improvements in the 2015 I-Codes that improve public health and safety, help reduce construction costs and facilitate new technologies.”

The language to update the 2009 and 2012 IPC and IRC is available online at www.iccsafe.org/LeadUpdates. More information about the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act is on ICC’s PMG Web page, www.iccsafe.org/pmg; click on the “Resources” tab. Code officials looking for information on how to update codes prior to 2009 to be in compliance with new federal act should contact Shawn Martin, Director of PMG Activities, smartin@iccsafe.org.