SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS — Two Zurn Industries LLC executives, each instrumental in the firm’s conversion to lead-free plumbing products, shared their insights and experiences during a presentation at the Mechanical Contractors Association of America 2013 convention here in mid-March.

Frank Schaetzke, vice president of national accounts, and Sean Martin, senior director of sales, provided an audience of mechanical contractors successful strategies to comply with the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act (42 USC 300G). The new federal law takes effect Jan. 4, 2014.

In a presentation entitled “Lead-Free: It’s Coming, Are You Prepared?” Schaetzke and Martin presented ideas that contractors can use to minimize their exposure, inventory depletion, and bid risk.

The new national law modifies the existing Safe Drinking Water Act to a standard enacted by California and Vermont in 2010. It will require that any valve, fitting or fixture coming in contact with potable water must be lead free. Specifically, it will mandate that these plumbing products have a weighted average of less than 0.25% lead content (the NSF/ANSI Standard 61-G requirement).

“Our industry can learn from the experiences of California and Vermont,” said Martin. “In those states, manufacturers, suppliers, and contractors had to convert their entire roster of metal fittings, solder, and pipe which caused problems with inventory, material acquisition and bidding. By preparing early, Zurn has provided a successful example to avoid that scenario.”

“We tried to guide the MCAA members through the blocking and tackling fundamentals of this change,” said Schaetzke. “We explained how their firms could adjust their procedures for bidding, purchasing, and installation to remove the lead from inventory.”

The Zurn lead-free initiative made the company the first to completely convert its product offering. Additional information about Zurn lead-free products and lead-free conversion is available at

MCAA serves approximately 2,500 firms involved in HVACR, plumbing, piping, and mechanical services. MCAA includes the Plumbing Contractors of America, the Mechanical Service Contractors of America, and other organizations. The theme of MCAA 2013 was “Unconventional Thinking.”

Zurn Industries serves the commercial, municipal, and industrial markets with a selection of engineered water solutions, including a wide spectrum of sustainable plumbing products. Additional information is available at