Washington, D.C. — The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO®), applauds the U.S. Congress on passage of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, legislation that includes creation of a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) program, in consultation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for premise plumbing research — a federal policy for which IAPMO has advocated in Washington, D.C., for more than a decade. The legislation now heads to the White House where it is expected to be signed into law by President Biden.
Premise plumbing, defined in the legislation as “the water distribution system located within property lines of a property, including all buildings and permanent structures on such property,” resides at the heart of IAPMO’s flagship document, the American National Standard Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC®). For many years, IAPMO, along with industry partners, has worked with NIST to bring plumbing research to the fore — especially where it concerns efficiency, resiliency, and the emergence of waterborne threats such as legionella brought about by changes in how water moves through plumbing systems in the 21st century.
The CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 amends the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act to authorize NIST to conduct metrology research on premise plumbing in relation to water safety, security, efficiency, sustainability and resilience, and coordinate research activities with academia, the private sector, nonprofit organizations, and other federal agencies.
“Congress’ inclusion of the NIST plumbing research program is a recognition of the significant challenges faced by communities across the country,” said Dain Hansen, IAPMO executive vice president of Government Relations. “With many states facing historic droughts and a growing number of contamination crises, this new program will help answer critical water efficiency and quality questions and will impact how buildings and homes use water for decades to come. IAPMO is proud to be a global leader in advancing plumbing codes and standards and ensuring universal access to water and sanitation systems.”
An example of the positive impact research can have on plumbing codes is IAPMO’s Peak Water Demand Calculator (WDC) which represents the first significant update for water pipe sizing in buildings since Dr. Roy Hunter, a NIST researcher, developed Hunter’s Curve in the 1930s. By using the updated pipe sizing requirements prescribed by the WDC during new construction, total average savings for a typical single-family home can exceed $2,000 and be as high as $5,000, depending on location. A 200-unit high rise apartment building could see about $250,000 in water plumbing system construction savings and save the owner more than $10,000 per year in water and sewer charges. IAPMO’s plumbing codes and standards are the only ones to offer this important update. With the passage of the NIST Plumbing Research Act, the industry will continue to be able to innovate and help improve community resiliency.
Founded in 1926, IAPMO’s UPC governs the installation and maintenance of commercial and residential plumbing systems worldwide. Its Water Efficiency and Sanitation Standard (WEStand) draws upon IAPMO’s core competency and industry expertise in plumbing systems for the purpose of providing comprehensive requirements to optimize water use practices attributed to the built environment while maintaining protection of the public health, safety and welfare.