U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Penn.) has introduced legislation intended to promote federal investment in research to ensure the data used in the development of U.S. plumbing standards reflects the 21st century’s more water efficient technologies. IAPMO is an enthusiastic advocate for this legislation and the updated data it would provide.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology Plumbing Research Act of 2016 would direct the NIST to reconstitute its plumbing research laboratory, identifying mismatches between old data and newer, water-efficient products that undermine from an infrastructural standpoint the conservation such products are intended to provide. For many decades, NIST ran a plumbing laboratory, but due to budgetary constraints it was disbanded in the early 1980s.
The proposed legislation furthermore addresses the health risks associated with potentially faulty data, including the threat of Legionella bacteria, which is responsible for Legionnaires’ disease, and sewer backups that can result from inadequate water flow through pipes sized inadequately to sufficiently transport solids.
“It has been nearly 40 years since the federal government had a concerted and centralized effort providing research into our nation's plumbing systems,” said Dain Hansen, IAPMO’s senior vice president of government relations. “With water issues abounding, and only expected to increase in the future, this legislation aims to fill the gaping void in federal research to address the vital issues surrounding premise plumbing.”
A copy of the introduced bill can be found here.