Since its founding in 1944, NSF has written standards and tested products that help protect drinking water and other consumer products. In 1968, NSF was asked by state drinking water administrators, and later by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to help develop consensus standards for the residential point-of-use and point-of-entry drinking water treatment unit (DWTU) industry. Since that time, six American National Standards and a microbiological testing protocol have been developed that establish design, structural integrity, material safety, and contaminant reduction requirements for a wide array of filtration and other residential water treatment technologies. The Joint Committee on Drinking Water Treatment Units, comprised of regulators, industry representatives, and product users, meets regularly to review the content of these standards and to adopt updates as needed, given the development of new technologies and the discovery of new contaminants in the world's drinking water supply.
In 1996, NSF became a World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Food and Water Safety, and Indoor Environment, which positions NSF standards and NSF Certified products to be embraced around the world.