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Posted 08/23/07

NSF/ANSI 61 changed to include point-of-entry drinking water treatment systems

After years of work on the issue, NSF/ANSI 61 has been changed to include point-of-entry (POE) systems, as reported in the August issue of WQA Industry Update.

The update is good news for manufacturers, who in some cases, had to test and certify equipment to two different standards for the same thing — materials safety.

NSF/ANSI 61 is the international standard for drinking water additives. It covers materials safety for all products that come into contact with drinking water in public and semi-public water supply applications. Nearly all plumbing codes and states require compliance to Standard 61.

NSF/ANSI 44 applies to residential and commercial cation-exchange water softeners. Because Standard 44 included its own section on materials safety, with different procedures for testing and certifying the materials, Standard 61 simply excluded POE drinking water treatment systems altogether.

The problem is that the line between typical residential and commercial/industrial has blurred in recent years, says Water Quality Association (WQA) Technical Director Joseph F. Harrison, PE, CWS-VI.

Harrison said many POE drinking water treatment systems are sold to and installed in semi-public water systems such as restaurants, hotels, schools, commercial and municipal applications. Because plumbing codes for these applications specifically call for certification to Standard 61, and 61 did not cover POE equipment, manufacturers of components such as media and ion-exchange resins, tanks, control valves, fittings, connectors, o-rings, and the like have routinely had to have products tested and certified twice for materials safety, to both NSF/ANSI 61 and 44.

On August 16, 2007, NSF International announced that NSF/ANSI 61 was changed to cover point-of-entry drinking water systems. Further, NSF/ANSI 44 and the materials safety sections of all the other drinking water treatment unit standards will be changed to reference compliance for POE systems under NSF/ANSI 61.

"This should certainly save money and time for our members, said Thomas Palkon, CWS-VI. Palkon is Director of Product Certification for WQA. "The biggest benefit is that now commercial, industrial, municipal, and residential drinking water treatment units can now all be tested under one standard for materials safety. This will prevent confusion, eliminate double testing, and save manufacturers from having to test and pay for multiple certification fees for the same materials standard," he said.

Point-of-use (POU) equipment is not affected by these changes.

See the Gold Seal section for links to all NSF/ANSI standards as well as information about WQA’s Gold Seal Product Certification Program.


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