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What does the NSF / ANSI certification mean on a water filter?

Manufacturers voluntarily submit products for evaluation; if they pass the tests, they are "Listed" and certain tested claims are "Certified," and the products are authorized to display the NSF Seal on labels and literature.

There are two NSF Standards for "Drinking Water Treatment Units" (not including others for reverse osmosis, ion exchange, and ultra-violet units): Standard 42 for Aesthetic Effects, and Standard 53 for Health Effects. They are similar, and most of the basic requirements are the same for both. A water filter which is "NSF-Listed:" or which has claims which are "NSF-Certified" is one which:
 

  1. is thoughtfully designed and carefully constructed
  • using established water treatment media and methods
  • using materials of construction which are tested and documented to be appropriate for potable water use
  • is tested and verified to conform to minimum standards of mechanical and hydraulic strength
  • is tested and verified to conform to minimum standards of hydraulic functioning (minimum flow rate, maximum initial pressure drop, reasonable freedom from channeling and dumping)
  1. is adequately and truthfully labeled and advertised

 

  1. is routinely re-tested, and its manufacturing procedures, documentation and facilities inspected/audited annually

 

  1. in addition to the above "good manufacturing practices" required of all Listed products, has been tested and approved for one or more specific functions which are required to be listed immediately next to the NSF Seal on labels and literature.
 
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