Residential Drinking Water Treatment Standards
- Ultraviolet (UV)
- Reverse Osmosis (RO)
- Water Softeners
- Distillation Systems
- Shower Filters
NSF developed its first drinking water treatment standard in 1973. Today, we test to seven point-of-use/point-of-entry (POU/POE) drinking water treatment standards and have certified thousands of systems and components.
The NSF POU/POE standards address the wide array of drinking water treatment technologies on the market today, including adsorptive medias, ion exchange, reverse osmosis, ceramic filters, pleated filters, ultraviolet (UV), distillation, reduction-oxidation (redox), shower filters and more.
Each NSF standard sets thorough health requirements and performance criteria for specific types of products. Contaminant reduction claims can be certified under each standard and can vary according to each water treatment technology capability. Systems that utilize more than one treatment technology may be certified under multiple standards.
Two NSF standards cover filtration systems: NSF/ANSI 42 addresses aesthetic claims and NSF/ANSI 53 addresses health claims.
NSF/ANSI Standard 42: Drinking Water Treatment Units - Aesthetic Effects
NSF/ANSI Standard 42 establishes the minimum requirements for the certification of POU/POE filtration systems designed to reduce specific aesthetic or non-health-related contaminants (chlorine, taste, odor and particulates) that may be present in public or private drinking water.
The scope of NSF/ANSI 42 includes material safety, structural integrity and aesthetic, non-health-related contaminant reduction performance claims. The most common technology addressed by this standard is carbon filtration.
NSF/ANSI Standard 53: Drinking Water Treatment Units - Health Effects
NSF/ANSI Standard 53 establishes the minimum requirements for the certification of POU/POE filtration systems designed to reduce specific health-related contaminants, such as Cryptosporidium, Giardia, lead, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) and MTBE (methyl tertiary-butyl ether), that may be present in public or private drinking water.
The scope of NSF/ANSI 53 includes material safety, structural integrity and health-related contaminant reduction performance claims. The most common technology addressed by this standard is carbon filtration.
NSF/ANSI Standard 55: Ultraviolet Microbiological Water Treatment Systems
NSF/ANSI Standard 55 establishes the minimum requirements for the certification of point-of-use/point-of-entry (POU/POE) ultraviolet (UV) systems and includes two optional classifications:
Class A systems (40 mJ/cm2) are designed to disinfect and/or remove microorganisms, including bacteria and viruses, from contaminated water to a safe level. Class A systems may claim to disinfect water that may be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria, viruses, Cryptosporidium or Giardia.
Class B systems (16 mJ/cm2) are designed for supplemental bactericidal treatment of public or other drinking water that has been deemed acceptable by a local health agency. Class B systems may claim to reduce normally occurring nuisance microorganisms.
Reverse Osmosis (RO)
NSF/ANSI Standard 58: Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Treatment Systems
NSF/ANSI Standard 58 establishes the minimum requirements for the certification of point-of-use (POU) reverse osmosis systems designed to reduce contaminants that may be present in public or private drinking water.
The scope of NSF/ANSI 58 includes material safety, structural integrity, total dissolved solids (TDS) reduction and other optional contaminant reduction claims. The most common optional claims addressed by NSF/ANSI 58 include cyst reduction, hexavalent and trivalent chromium reduction, arsenic reduction, nitrate/nitrite reduction, and cadmium and lead reduction.
NSF/ANSI Standard 44: Cation Exchange Water Softeners
NSF/ANSI Standard 44 establishes the minimum requirements for the certification of residential cation exchange water softeners designed to reduce hardness from public or private water supplies.
The scope of NSF/ANSI 44 includes material safety, structural integrity, accuracy of the brine system and the reduction of hardness and specific contaminants from a known quality water source. The most common claims addressed by NSF/ANSI 44 are barium reduction, radium 226/228 reduction and softener performance.
NSF/ANSI Standard 62: Drinking Water Distillation Systems
NSF/ANSI 62 establishes the minimum requirements for the certification of POU/POE distillation systems in terms of material safety, structural integrity, total dissolved solids (TDS) reduction and a product literature review.
Standard 62 also covers contaminant reduction claims including total arsenic, chromium, mercury, nitrate/nitrite and microorganisms from public and private water supplies.
NSF/ANSI Standard 177: Shower Filtration Systems – Aesthetic Effects
NSF/ANSI 177 was developed to cover the safety and performance of shower filtration products. Certification to NSF/ANSI 177 confirms your product’s material safety, structural integrity, minimum flow performance and its ability to reduce free available chlorine.
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