More than likely, not in the way you'd hoped before you started reading, but it is an important step towards safer drinking water for our families and ourselves. In January of 2011 President Barack Obama signed in to law the Federal Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act.
The EPA reports that lead can cause delays in development, both physically and mentally in children. Kidney problems and high blood pressure are more common in adults. You can not see, taste, or smell lead in water. The only way to be sure of a contamination is testing.
While not normally found in "source" water, lead can find its way into your drinking water a variety of ways. The most common, however, are through corrosion of pipes and fixtures. Brass fittings and the solder used with them can also play a part. Especially if they were installed prior to the Safe Drinking Water Act signed into law in 1974, which listed just 24 potential water contaminants and their maximum allowable concentration levels. The new law focuses specifically on reducing the levels of lead used in drinking water system components.
While a few states have already had similar regulations in place, national permissible levels had not be implemented. The new regulations set the national permissible levels to match the ones already established in California and Vermont and will go into effect in 2014. The act focuses strictly on drinking water systems and does not include non-potable water systems like toilets, showers, industrial processing, or outdoor irrigation.
Manufacturers are currently working to bring their products into compliance and get the certifications necessary to meet the strict state and federal guidelines by the January 2014 deadline. The new Low Lead Water Products Guide contains information about the new standards, certified products, what markings to look for, as well as a lot of additional information regarding the new law.
The end result of the new regulations will more than likely mean an increase in the plumbing products, however, it will most definitely increase the overall safety of drinking water for you and your family.