A key change to lead levels in plumbing products

NATA News November 15, 2022
A key change to lead levels in plumbing products
NATA team

The 2022 edition of the National Construction Code has introduced a new limit for the allowable level of lead in plumbing products used for drinking water.  This requirement will come into effect on 1 September 2025, and many manufacturers are already working towards compliance. 

The changes mean that from this date, only products that are in compliance with the new, lower lead requirements of the NCC, will be authorised for use and plumbers will only be able to install products with the reduced lead levels. 

Copper alloy products 

The Plumbing Code of Australia specifies that all copper alloy plumbing products in contact with drinking water must limit the allowable lead content to a weighted average lead content of not more than 0.25%. 

As a result, all copper alloy products that are in constant contact with drinking water will be required to comply with the lead requirements of the NCC. These include fittings, valves, backflow prevention devices, taps, mixers, water heaters, water dispensers (boiling and cooling units) and water meters. 


The WaterMark Schedule of Products outlines all the plumbing products that require WaterMark certification to be authorised for installation in a plumbing or drainage system.  

The schedule will also be used to outline which products must comply with the lead requirements of the NCC. 

Visit WaterMark website.

Transition period 

During the transition period, products will start to be manufactured with labelling on the product to indicate compliance with the NCC’s lead requirements.  It is anticipated that testing facilities that are accredited for chemical analysis of copper alloys may see an increase in demand leading up to the 2025 deadline. 

Learn more 

More information about the changes to NCC and the Plumbing Code can be found on the ABCB website

Laboratories interested in extending their scope for chemical analysis of copper alloys to include lead should contact their client manager.