S. 3874: Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act

S. 3874

Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act

Sen. Barbara Boxer

December 17, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact

Floor Situation

S. 3874 is expected to be considered on the House floor on Friday, December 17, 2010, under a suspension of the rules, which requires a two-thirds majority vote.  Sen. Boxer (D-CA) introduced S. 3874 on September 29, 2010, and the Senate approved the legislation by unanimous consent on December 16, 2010.

Bill Summary

S. 3874 would amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to exempt from prohibitions on the use or sale of lead pipes, solder, and flux:

  • “Pipes or pipe or plumbing fittings or fixtures, including backflow preventers, that are used exclusively for nonpotable services, such as manufacturing, industrial processing, irrigation, outdoor watering or any other uses where the water is not anticipated to be used for human consumption or
  • “Toilets, bidets, urinals, fill valves, flushometer valves, tub fillers, shower valves, service saddles, or water distribution main gate valves that are two inches in diameter or larger.”


In addition, S. 3874 would redefine "lead free" under the Safe Drinking Water Act to mean: (1) not containing more than 0.2 percent lead when used with respect to solder and flux (current law) and (2) not more than a weighted average of 0.25 percent lead when used with respect to the wetted surfaces of pipes and pipe and plumbing fittings and fixtures. Lastly, the bill would establish a formula to calculate the weighted average lead content of a pipe or pipe or plumbing fitting or fixture. 



CBO estimates enacting S. 3874 would have no budgetary impact of the federal budget.