In 2019-20, the ABCB commenced a regulatory impact analysis to determine whether the permissible lead content in plumbing products in contact with drinking water should be reduced. This followed a number of highly publicised instances of lead leaching from copper alloy plumbing products in contact with drinking water in excess of the levels permitted by AS/NZS 4020 ‘Testing of products for use in contact with drinking water’.
A Consultation RIS was released for public comment between 7 December 2020 to 1 March 2021, and 40 submissions were received. Non-confidential submissions can be accessed on Consultation Hub.
All submissions were taken into consideration by the ABCB in preparing a Decision RIS, which represents one input into the decision making process of the Board.
The final Decision RIS recommends in favour of Option 2, that all copper alloy plumbing products in contact with drinking water comply with NSF/ANSI/CAN 372 ‘Drinking Water System Components - Lead Content’ in addition to the requirements of AS/NZS 4020.
The Board has determined to limit the lead content of plumbing products in contact with drinking water to 0.25% (Option 2) as its preferred option, with this having been reflected in the public comment draft of NCC 2022. It also agreed to a 3-year transition period commencing on 1 September 2022, which by providing industry with immediate notice of the decision, gives around 4¼ years notice.
The final Decision RIS was assessed as compliant by the Office of Best Practice Regulation with the former Council of Australian Governments’ RIS requirements. You can access the RIS below.