Wilkins becomes first backflow preventer manufacturer certified by NSF to new lead requirements

ANN ARBOR, MI, Sept. 22, 2009 -- Wilkins, a Zurn Company, is the first backflow preventer manufacturer certified by NSF International to NSF/ANSI Standard 61: Drinking Water System Components -- Health Effects and Annex G low-lead requirements...

• NSF Annex G certification supports new requirements for low lead plumbing products which take effect January 1, 2010

ANN ARBOR, MI, Sept. 22, 2009 -- As of January 1, 2010, new lead content requirements in California (commonly known as AB 1953) will mandate a maximum weighted average lead content of ≤ 0.25 percent for plumbing products. Wilkins, a Zurn Company, is the first backflow preventer manufacturer certified by NSF International to NSF/ANSI Standard 61: Drinking Water System Components -- Health Effects and Annex G low-lead requirements, developed to help protect the public from exposure to lead.

Backflow preventers are mechanical plumbing devices that protect against pollution and contamination by preventing unsafe water from flowing back into the public water supply.

Manufacturers of backflow preventers for potable water service, faucets, valves, water fittings, and other products that come in contact with drinking water must meet the new lead requirements, as set forth in the California Health and Safety Code, by January 1, 2010. After this date, any pipe, fitting, or fixture intended to convey or dispense water for drinking or cooking must meet a weighted average lead content of ≤ 0.25 percent.

The lead content requirements of Section 116875 of the California Health and Safety Code (also known as AB1953) were incorporated as an annex into the American National Standard for health effects of drinking water system components NSF/ANSI Standard 61: Annex G -- Weighted Average Lead Content Evaluation Procedure to a 0.25 Percent Lead Requirement.

To obtain certification, Wilkins demonstrated compliance with all of NSF/ANSI Standard 61, Annex G requirements.

"Obtaining Annex G certification for our backflow preventers is important as our customers will know when they see the NSF Mark on our products that in addition to meeting the new low lead requirements, all health effect and performance requirements have also been met," said Rick Fields, Wilkins Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "They know that with Wilkins, they are getting the ultimate in backflow prevention protection and performance."

For meeting these requirements, Wilkins' backflow preventers bear the NSF Annex G Certification Mark. Wilkins is also listed on the NSF's Web site to demonstrate compliance with the new requirements.

"Wilkins is setting the standard for other backflow preventer manufacturers to follow," said Bob Ferguson, NSF International Vice President. "We are pleased to issue Wilkins this certification as it demonstrates their commitment to environmental and public health protection."

Annex G was developed by NSF's Lead Task Group with guidance from key regulators, proponents of the California lead bill, industry representatives and the NSF Standard 61 Joint Committee. The NSF Joint Committee is comprised of balanced representation from public health, user communities and industry to ensure an open, transparent and consensus process.

For more information on NSF/ANSI Standard 61/Annex G requirements or NSF testing and certification services, visit NSF's Web site or contact Pete Greiner at 734.769.5517 or greinerp@nsf.org. A copy of Annex G as adopted in NSF/ANSI 61 -- 2008 is available on NSF's Web site. For additional information on Wilkins, click here.

About NSF International
NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit organization, helps protect public health by certifying products and writing standards for food, water and consumer goods (www.nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting public health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment. NSF's Mechanical Plumbing Certification Program provides performance and health effects testing, certification, and production facility inspections to verify compliance with plumbing standards. The NSF Water Treatment and Distribution Systems Program is responsible for the verification of drinking water treatment chemicals and drinking water system components to ensure these products do not contribute contaminants to drinking water that could cause adverse health effects. Additional services include safety audits for the food and water industries, management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations, education through the NSF Center for Public Health Education, and sustainable business services, such as carbon footprinting, greenhouse gas verification and standards development and certification for sustainable products.

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