New standard supports sustainability initiatives in the water treatment chemical industry including the production and use of more sustainable treatment chemical products

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Global public health organization NSF International and the American Water Works Association (AWWA) have published the first American National Standard for assessing the sustainability of water treatment chemical products – NSF/AWWA/ANSI 416: Sustainability Assessment Standard for Water Treatment Chemical Products. Manufacturers and distributors (including repackagers and relabelers) of water treatment chemicals now have a framework for measuring and reducing the environmental impacts of their products, providing more sustainable purchase options to municipal water treatment facilities and industrial and consumer users of treatment chemicals.

To obtain certification to this standard, organizations must have implemented environmental and social management policies, and measure and document their water and energy use. They must also meet all prerequisite requirements pertaining to product design, manufacturing processes, efficacy and corporate social responsibility, as well as optional criteria in these categories. Organizations meeting these requirements can minimize the environmental and human impacts of their products and have the potential to reduce costs through more efficient use of materials, energy and water.

“NSF International’s 70 year history of protecting and improving water quality and the environment is reflected in this new standard, NSF/AWWA/ANSI 416, which helps manufacturers of water treatment chemical products measure, manage and reduce environmental impact and reduce cost,” said Tom Bruursema, General Manager of Environmental and Sustainability Services at NSF International. “Manufacturers can reduce their material, energy and water consumption which contributes to improving sustainability.”

“Supporting the development of a standard that encourages the production and use of more sustainable treatment chemical products provides another tool for our members striving to lower the environmental impact of their operations,” said Paul Olson, Senior Manager of Standards at AWWA.

How NSF/AWWA/ANSI 416 Certification Works

The sustainability assessment criteria of NSF/AWWA/ANSI 416 are divided into five categories:

  • Chemical Product Design – Encourages product designers and developers to minimize negative environmental and human impacts throughout the product life cycle
  • Chemical Product Manufacturing Process – Encourages manufacturers to monitor and minimize the environmental impacts of the product’s manufacturing process
  • Chemical Product Efficacy – Ensures the product performs at or above recognized industry standards
  • Product End-of-Life Management – Ensures products, including their packaging, can be collected and re-processed within existing recycling infrastructure
  • Corporate Governance – Encourages organizational leadership and social responsibility with a focus on occupational health and safety, data transparency and community involvement

Certification to NSF/AWWA/ANSI 416 is based on point totals. Manufacturers or distributors working with a certified manufacturer must meet all prerequisite requirements and a minimum number of applicable optional criteria for their product to be certified. Certified products and related advertising or marketing materials may carry the NSF International Sustainability Certified mark and are included in NSF International’s certified product listings.

For additional information on NSF/AWWA/ANSI 416 certification, please contact Program Development Manager Jenny Oorbeck at +1 734.418.6610 or email To purchase a copy of NSF/AWWA/ANSI 416, please visit the NSF Bookstore.

Editor’s note: To schedule an interview with NSF Sustainability General Manager Tom Bruursema, contact Kelly Ingerly at +1 734.827.6850 or

About NSF International: NSF International ( has been testing and certifying products for safety, health and the environment since 1944. As an independent public health and safety organization, NSF’s mission is to protect human health and the environment through standards development, auditing, testing and certification for the food, water, build/construction, retail, consumer products, chemical and health science industries.

NSF led the development of the American National Standards for all materials and products that treat or come in contact with drinking water. In 1990, the U.S. EPA replaced its own drinking water product advisory program with these NSF standards. Today, most major plumbing codes require certification to NSF standards for pipes and plumbing components in commercial and residential buildings. NSF Sustainability draws upon this expertise in standards development, product assurance and certification, advisory services and quality management systems to help companies create more sustainable products, operations, systems and supply chains.

About AWWA: Established in 1881, the American Water Works Association is the largest nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, the world’s most important resource. With approximately 50,000 members, AWWA provides solutions to improve public health, protect the environment, strengthen the economy and enhance our quality of life.