Company Featuring "No-Lead" Metering Products

The effects of lead on health and the environment have prompted the regulation of lead content in consumer and manufactured goods over the past several decades.

May 1st, 2011
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The effects of lead on health and the environment have prompted the regulation of lead content in consumer and manufactured goods over the past several decades. It is no wonder that the concern over lead leaching into water from plumbing systems is in the forefront of legislation. Perhaps one of the most far reaching changes in the water industry in the next several years will be the move to no-lead products.

A variety of no-lead products will be on display at ACE11, including polymer-bodied water meters from Elster AMCO Water Inc.

In California, Assembly Bill 1953 (AB1953) was signed into law on September 30, 2006. Specific language in the bill states that “No person shall introduce into commerce, for use in California, any pipe, pipe or plumbing fitting, or fixture intended to convey or dispense water for human consumption through drinking water or cooking that is not lead free. This includes kitchen faucets, bathroom faucets and any other end-use devices intended to convey or dispense water for human consumption through drinking or cooking.”

Water meters in the distribution system fall under this mandate as well. The intent is to reduce the amount of lead in specific plumbing fixtures from its previous regulated amount of no more than 8 percent, to a new standard not to exceed 0.25 percent. Bill 1953 was put in force January 2010 requiring lead content to be less than 0.25 percent of the weighted average for material in contact with water, and these requirements are reflected within the requirements specified in NSF 61 Annex G.

Elster’s polymer-bodied C700 meters include metal threads integrated within the injected molded body.

To further protect the health and safety of the public from exposure to lead, NSF 61 Annex F will be in effect on July 1, 2012. This will further challenge manufacturers by reducing the standard’s total allowable concentration (TAC) of lead from 15 µg/L to 5 µg/L. To aid in achieving this, some foundries are already using bronze alloys with less than 0.09 percent lead to create castings. This change comes at a price due to challenges faced in processing and machining these materials.

California’s efforts have bean adopted by other states and influenced the development of a revised national standard. The federal government has signed into law a change to the federal definition of low lead to take effect in January 2014. This legislation amends the Safe Drinking Water Act’s definition of lead-free and limits the maximum content of lead in plumbing devices to harmonize with California Assembly Bill 1953 and NSF 61 Annex G.

This will obviously have a financial impact on many utilities that still use traditional waterworks where the higher cost lower-lead product will become standard, and with the price index of copper having risen over 170 percent within a two-year period alternative materials are becoming viable alternatives to traditional bronze products. Manufacturers will need to respond quickly to offer utilities suitable alternatives.

One of those is Elster, which sells nearly 60 percent of the world’s volumetric meters. Recognizing the changing landscape of the commodities market and the environmental concerns, the development of alternative materials has been a major focus at Elster. Polymer, stainless-steel, epoxy coated ductile-iron and poly lined products are already a strong offering in its portfolio.

The company introduced polymer bodied water meters in the early 1970s and has more than 2.5 million installed worldwide including over 750,000 meters in the U.S. Learning from the traditional barriers of stripped threads, Elster has overcome this limitation by creating a design for its new generation of polymer-bodied C700 meters that includes metal threads integrated within the injected molded body.

In addition to using alternative materials, Elster is leading the way in incorporating electronic measurement. Its poly lined SM700 is a no-moving parts Fluidic Oscillator, while its evoQ4 is a stainless steel polyethylene epoxy lined electromagnetic meter available in a full range of sizes from 1½” to 12”. It also offers the T4000i, an epoxy coated ductile iron Turbine meter in industry standard sizes.

ELSTER® is an exhibitor at the ACE® ‘11 event and can be found at Booth No. 2226

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