248 CMR Emergency Wash Station Requirements

Emergency wash systems are required by 248 CMR, Massachusetts Uniform Plumbing Code in every school, college, university, or building laboratory where corrosive or flammable liquids are handled, chemicals are stored or used, or open flame devices are used (248 CMR 10.13 (l)(1)). The systems are required to include drench/deluge showers, hand held body/face washers and deck mounted drench hoses. The permanently mounted showers are required to be located as close to the main door of the laboratory as possible, but must not be located more than 50 feet from an experimental area. The systems are required to be installed in a manner that prevents stagnation of water in the piping that supplies permanently mounted showers and face/eye wash stations.

Enacted on June 29, 2016, the Board of State Examiners of Plumbers and Gas Fitters issued an interpretation for the installation requirements of emergency eyewash and emergency showers to better align the requirements with ANSI Z-358.1. The Board voted to make the following changes:

  • The Board now allows emergency shower products to be accepted with a minimum flow of 20 gpm for 15 minutes. Previously, 248 CMR 10.13(1)(l)(4) required a 30 gpm continuous spray.
  • The Board now allows a water temperature range of 60 – 90 degrees Fahrenheit based on documented data showing an increase in bacteria growth in water above 70 degrees. Previously, the water was required to be tempered to between 70 – 90 degrees Fahrenheit.