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Published on Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Building Code Council clarifies city authority over plumbing codes

State Building Code Council Chair Dave Kokot released a memo in September stating:

“In April of 2015 the Washington State Building Code Council (SBCC), on the advice of the Attorney General’s office, confirmed that the state plumbing code is determined by the state legislature through adoption by reference of the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) in RCW 19.27.031. The UPC is in effect statewide and neither the SBCC nor the local governing bodies have the authority to replace the UPC with the International Plumbing Code (IPC) as an alternate method for any type of occupancy.”

Read the rest of the Chair Kokot’s memo here. You can read the Attorney General’s memo to the Building Code Council here.

This issue has been the subject of legislative attention in 2015, and we expect additional work in 2016.  Previously some cities had exercised authority to apply alternative plumbing standards to certain large buildings, flexibility which was eliminated in SB 5139 in 2015. AWC has weighed in in favor of flexibility and choice on behalf of cities to choose the code they prefer.