Third-party Certification PlanAn agreement between Water Quality Association (WQA) and California’s Department of Health Services (CDHS) could save manufacturers months of wait time before getting products to market by authorizing WQA to conduct third-party certifications for water softeners and water filters with health-effect claims.
Under the agreement, items that are already certified for NSF/ANSI Standards 44 and 53 by WQA’s Gold Seal Program would not be required to submit test data or product submissions. Manufacturers still must pay the required fees to CDHS, and then they would automatically be issued a California Certificate. This significantly shortens the approval process – from months to possibly days. Products that are not certified by either Gold Seal or NSF International, another authorized third-party certifier, would have to follow the original, longer process to receive a California Certificate.
“This agreement will benefit both industry members and California regulators through increased efficiencies,” says Proctor & Gamble’s Bruce Keswick. “We encourage members to use the new system for registrations in California, and we’re encouraging WQA to develop this type of cooperation with other states.”
WQA technical director Joseph Harrison says, “It is a landmark achievement that will accomplish tremendous efficiency and cost-saving improvements for both CDHS and for manufacturers of point-of-use and point-of-entry drinking water treatment products.”
The NSF/ANSI Standard 58 for reverse osmosis equipment is next in line for a potential third-party certification arrangement.
I’m happy for the POU/POE product manufacturers – they can get their new and presumably improved products to market faster. It certainly is nice for the WQA, esteem-wise. And I’m thrilled for the CDHS – a bloated bureaucracy is able to shed a bunch of time-and-effort-consuming paperwork, while still charging full crank. As for installers and end-users, I’m confident the obligatory wait-and-see tenet will be in full force.
International StandardsKiwa, an independent inspection and certification institute founded by Dutch water companies, recently announced plans to issue Kiwa Quality (KQ) international guidelines for water treatment products.
A Kiwa spokesperson says, “The guidelines are based on the best of both worlds – namely European standards and NSF standards, such as NSF/ANSI 42 and 55. If a European standard is more severe than the NSF, we take the requirement or test method from the European. If it’s the other way around, we take the requirement of the NSF standard.”
Remember you read that here first. While Kiwa is a fine organization, with considerable influence all over the world, it probably will be quite some time before we hear of this again.