Sunday, September 6, 2015

Huntley Dropping “Copper Only” From Plumbing Code

For many years the Village of Huntley has been a community with the highest quality requirements for new construction, by means of a strict village building code. One of the provisions requiring developers within the village to live up to the highest standards of construction is Huntley’s plumbing code section 303.5.3:

“Absolutely no plastic materials shall be utilized within the confines of any building for water distribution. Exception: The use of CPVC pipe shall be permitted for residential fire suppression systems only.”

The State of Illinois Department of Public Health has prohibited Huntley from enforcing this limitation since August 2014, in the interest of “consistency” among local government plumbing codes within the state. However, the Department of Public Health does allow local government units to petition for the right to amend the state plumbing code within their jurisdictions. On September 10 Huntley’s Village Board will vote on a resolution adopting the state plumbing code verbatim as the Village plumbing code, removing forever the “copper only” water piping requirement.

Allowing future large scale residential construction with plastic water pipe will devalue every house in Huntley with copper water pipe, by putting lower cost plastic pipe homes on the market to compete with sales of existing copper pipe homes. Besides harming existing village residents, such a change could also reduce the village’s real property tax base over time.

While the health department currently prohibits Huntley from enforcing the “copper only” plumbing requirement, the Village Board should instruct the village staff to petition the state for the right to keep the plastic water pipe prohibition in Huntley’s plumbing code.

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