The Iowa Administrative Rules Committee has published ARC 5626C, officially updating Iowa’s plumbing code to the 2021 Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) effective June 23.
In June 2020, the Iowa Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board Code Review Sub Committee solicited code change proposals from all interested parties for the adoption of the 2021 UPC. The Code Review Sub Committee considered each proposal and significant changes from the 2018 UPC for incorporation into Chapter 25 “Iowa State Plumbing Code”. One key change is the addition of clarifying language that the UPC is the only plumbing code applicable in all Iowa jurisdictions for all building occupancies, and the adoption of other plumbing codes is prohibited.
The 2021 UPC is designed to provide consumers with safe and sanitary plumbing systems while, at the same time, allowing latitude for innovation and new technologies. By adopting the 2021 UPC, the state has made it possible for local jurisdictions to utilize UPC Appendix M, known as the Peak Water Demand Calculator (WDC), which determines pipe sizes based on flow rates and probabilities of water use, depicting a more realistic need for the plumbing systems. The WDC helps reduce material costs by 10-15% and improves sustainability as water travels more efficiently through the systems — delivering hot water faster to the user and resulting in less water waste — and improves water quality by preventing water stagnation, thus mitigating the risk of harmful pathogens and contaminants spreading in the system.
“I applaud the work of the Iowa Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board and the Code Review Sub Committee ensuring Iowans have access to the most progressive, sustainable, and resilient plumbing code available,” said Brian Rogers, IAPMO’s vice president of Field Services. “The adoption of the 2021 Uniform Plumbing Code as Iowa’s plumbing code is the gold standard for plumbing codes, will benefit citizens throughout the state and reaffirms the state’s commitment to help ensure that all buildings have safe and cost-effective plumbing systems that meet the demands of today’s consumers.”
“IAPMO is thrilled to see Iowa recommit to safe and effective plumbing systems, supporting the plumbing industry, and creating more continuity throughout the state,” Rogers said. “We are always available as an education partner and guide for how the 2021 UPC can be applied and used by any industry professional.”
Introduced in Los Angeles in 1928 and formally published as the Uniform Plumbing Code in 1945, followed in 1967 by the introduction of the UMC, the Uniform Codes are recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as American National Standards and are developed using ANSI-accredited procedures. This process brings together volunteers representing a variety of viewpoints and interests to achieve consensus on plumbing and mechanical practices. Developed and subsequently republished at the conclusion of each three-year code cycle, the UPC and UMC are designed to provide consumers with safe and sanitary plumbing and mechanical systems while, at the same time, allowing latitude for innovation and new technologies.