We are pleased to see that the Australian plumbing industry is officially moving towards low lead materials for products intended for use in contact with drinking water (read more here and below under Resources). At Galvin Engineering we have anticipated and actively supported this move since 2017. We are very passionate about this change and excited about the positive impact it will have on the health of our customers and the entire community.
Having adopted lead free and low lead products early on we are all set-up and already offer an extensive range of NCC 2022 Vol. Three, Clause A5G4(2) and NSF/ANSI 372 compliant Lead Safe™ tapware for drinking and handwashing solutions in education, healthcare and public areas.
GalvinClear® Lead Safe™ product range has been redesigned and re-engineered to provide safer water delivery by utilising specialist materials such as stainless steel or plastic materials that are free of lead, and DZR brass that is low in lead. This change in materials and the development of new manufacturing techniques provide enhanced water outcomes for the end-user, and the continued reliability you expect from a Galvin Engineering tapware product.
The range of products utilising GalvinClear® Lead Safe™ Technology will continue to maintain similar styles, aesthetics, and dimensions where possible and will allow for the easy exchange or upgrade of existing products.
We based our definition of Lead Safe™ on the requirements of s1417 of the USA’s Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), and the relevant US standards NSF61 / NSF372, which has now also been adopted by the ABCB for NCC 2022 Vol. Three, Clause A5G4(2). ‘Lead free’ is defined as “not more than a weighted average of 0.25% lead when used with respect to the wetted surface of pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, and fixtures”.
One of the ways we do this is by reducing exposure to harmful chemicals such as lead and arsenic within the raw materials used to manufacture our tapware. GalvinClear® Lead Safe™ Technology also employs manufacturing and engineering techniques that reduce the amount of contact potable (drinking) water has with the chemicals commonly found in most available plumbing products and materials.
Why did we develop GalvinClear® Lead Safe™?
Following our passion to provide water solutions for a healthier environment and listening to the demand for low lead and lead free taps in the community, we wanted to offer our customers a greater level of choice. Adopting Lead Safe™ products early on we were first to market in 2018.
Are GalvinClear® Lead Safe™ products approved in Australia and New Zealand?
While not all of our GalvinClear® Lead Safe™ taps have yet been independently tested and listed on our NSF 372 Type Test Certificate they do, however, comply with the requirements of the NSF/ANSI 372 standard and NCC 2022 Vol. Three, Clause A5G4(2) and are tested to ‘AS/NZS 4020 – Testing of products for use in contact with drinking water’, prior to obtaining WaterMark certification. In addition, our products go through very thorough in-house testing in the Galvin Engineering Test Laboratory and rigorous infield testing, to ensure they perform at the highest standards as required in commercial applications.
The GalvinClear® Lead Safe™ Technology
What are GalvinClear® Lead Safe™ products made of?
GalvinClear® products are Lead Safe™ as per the above definition, and are made from the material we believe is most suitable for the commercial applications they are most used in. GalvinClear® Lead Safe™ products are designed to minimise the volume of water that physically touches a metallic surface, via the use of other materials like approved plastics or polymers. In addition, all metallic materials used are listed on the European Standard ‘4MS Common Approach’, which ensures they met the strict German Drinking Water Guidelines. Depending on the commercial application, we are currently using several metallic materials:
316 Stainless Steel with 0% Lead
NCC 2022 Vol. Three, Clause A5G4(2) and NSF/ANSI 372 compliant
Approved to 4MS
Ideal for external environments like schools and parks, and for the corrosive salty conditions found near beaches
Used in drinking bubblers
DZR Brass with ≤ 0.25% Lead
NCC 2022 Vol. Three, Clause A5G4(2) and NSF/ANSI 372 compliant
Approved to 4MS
Ideal for applications using warm water systems such as in large health or custodial facilities
Used in thermostatic mixing valves, thermostatic progressive mixing taps, drinking bubblers and pushbutton taps
The time to update your base specification is now!
New lead safe requirement means that from 1 May 2026, plumbing products that do not conform to lead free requirements will no longer have valid certification and will not be authorised for installation if in contact with drinking water. While 2026 might sound like a long time away the time to prepare and update your base BIM spec is right now.
Only taps containing not more than 0.25% lead will be authorised for installation in a plumbing system used to convey drinking water.
The National Construction Code (NCC) and the WaterMark Certification Scheme are both managed and administered by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB), assisting to improve productivity through the consolidation of all on-site construction requirements into a single code.
While the NCC's aim is to ensure that plumbing and drainage installations are safe for building occupants, don’t result in damage to the building, infrastructure, or the environment, and encourage efficient water use, WaterMark assists by ensuring a safe and reliable supply of drinking water is delivered through appliances, fixtures, and fittings that are fit for purpose and installed correctly.
The NCC requires certain plumbing and drainage materials and products to be certified and authorised for use in a plumbing or drainage installation. This means a material or product needs to be tested and evaluated to an approved product specification and certified by an accredited organisation which is managed by WaterMark.
Subsequently WaterMark is also the body ensuring that the new NCC 2022 Volume Three Clause A5G4(2) 'Lead Free Requirements' are being implemented.
Copper alloy plumbing products containing more than 0.25% lead (non lead free products) will no longer be authorised for installation in a plumbing system used to convey drinking water after 1 May 2026. While it is not required to change plumbing products that have been installed prior to this date it is in the best interest of the community to upgrade to low lead options at the earliest opportunity.
Plumbing products made of stainless steel are inherently lead free (no lead is used in its production).
For copper alloys you will need to:
look for the new lead free WaterMark logo on the product (once available)
check with the supplier if the alloy is low lead (≤ 0.25% lead).
A lead free tap can be made of:
stainless steel, which is inherently lead free (no lead is used in its production),
copper alloy containing not more than 0.25% of lead, and
any other material containing not more than 0.25% of lead.
No, you will need to exchange your taps with a lead free tap option.
Lead Safe™ is equivalent with lead free as defined by the ABCB for NCC 2022 Vol. Three, Clause A5G4(2). This means our Lead Safe™ products contain not more than a weighted average of 0.25% and are NCC 2022 compliant.
A GalvinClear® tap has been made using the GalvinClear® Lead Safe™ Technology which means:
using raw materials that are free or low in harmful chemicals such as lead or arsenic
employing manufacturing and engineering techniques that reduce the amount of contact potable (drinking) water has with chemicals
Our Lead Safe™ tapware is readily available through your usual plumbing supplies merchant or you can buy direcly from our website.
Our Lead Safe™ taps do contain not more than 0.25% lead and are NCC 2022 compliant.
Not just yet, but we are working hard to get all of our taps changed to lead free by end of 2023. Our lead free taps are easily to be recognized as they all carry the Lead Safe™ logo and Lead Safe™ forms part of their product name. Find all currently available Lead Safe™ products at www.galvinengineering.com.au/products
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