Recommended Changes to the 2009 and 2012 Editions of the International Plumbing and Residential Codes for Compliance with the Federal Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act



2015IPC 2015IRC


The federal Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act (S. 3874-2011) went into effect on January 4, 2014. The new law amends the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act and revises the definition of the term “lead-free” to require no more than 0.25% lead (when calculated as a weighted average of the content of the wetted surfaces) for plumbing pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings and fixtures conveying water for human consumption. The law also requires state enforcement of the requirements in 42 USC § 300g-6 (b) (1) and 42 USC § 300g-6 (c). For more information on the law, its requirements and enforcement see the EPA document Summary of The Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act and Frequently Asked Questions.

To meet the requirements of the law, Section 605.2 of the 2015 International Plumbing Code (IPC) has been revised to include a new subsection, 605.2.1. Similarly, Section P2905.2 of the International Residential Code (IRC) has added an identical subsection, P2905.2.1. Since the law went into effect in January, but the 2015 IPC and IRC will not be released until this summer, the International Code Council is making the text of the new subsections from the 2015 code available to jurisdictions immediately. This will allow users of codes based on the 2009 or 2012 IPC and/or IRC to immediately incorporate the new provision into your local or regional adopting code, adopting ordinances or state codes to comply with the federal law.

The suggested changes for the IPC and IRC are nearly identical, and are shown below. Red colored text indicates where code was changed or appended. New language is denoted by underlines, and text to be removed is denoted with a strikeout. Note that changes are required to both the Water Supply and Distribution and Referenced Standards Chapters of each code.

While these changes will result in brief sections of text that match the 2015 IPC and 2015 IRC, ICC strongly recommends that jurisdictions update to the 2015 IPC and IRC when they become available. There are many important public health and safety improvements, efficiencies and new technologies included in the latest codes that make them worth considering, such as a new chapter devoted to non-potable rainwater, graywater and reclaimed water.

For more information on upgrading to the 2015 IPC or IRC, contact Shawn Martin, Director of PMG Activities at More information about the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act is available on ICC’s PMG Web page at; click on the “Resources” tab.


Click to view the recommended changes below.