Why Important ?

Your drinking water filter may have NSF certification. However, does it comply with NSF/ANSI Standard 53 Health Effects? So, why is this standard so important?

May be you are familiar with NSF logo. But just logo without quoting which standards a water filter complies to, is not complete. If a manufacturer claims that his product is NSF certified, he needs to state clearly that his product is complied to which standards (refer standards below). You can confirm the water filter NSF certification by visiting the NSF listing.

In addition to that, you need to find out whether the certification is for the drinking water system or only applicable to the components of the system.

Who is NSF?

NSF International, National Sanitation Foundation is:

  • a non-profit,
  • non-governmental organization.

The organization is the world leader in:

  • standards development,
  • product certification,
  • education and
  • risk-management for public health and safety.


  • was founded in 1944,
  • headquartered in Ann Arbor, MI USA,
  • the trusted third party testing organization for more than 60 years,
  • recognized for its scientific and technical expertise in the health and environment sciences
  • professional staff includes engineers, chemists, toxicologists and environmental health professionals.

NSF accreditations by:

  • ANSI (American National Standards Institute)
  • IAS (International Accreditation Service)
  • OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
  • SCC (Standards Council of Canada)
  • ASSE (American Society of Sanitary Engineering)
  • IAPMO (International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials)

What are the NSF/ANSI Standards for Drinking Water Treatment Units?

Drinking water treatment units is also called drinking water systems, drinking water filters and water purifiers by various manufacturers.

Standards that developed by NSF for evaluation and certification of drinking water treatment units are:

  • NSF/ANSI Standard 53: Drinking Water Treatment Units – Health Effects
  • NSF/ANSI Standard 42: Drinking Water Treatment Units – Aesthetic Effects
  • NSF/ANSI Standard 58: Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Treatment Systems
  • NSF/ANSI Standard 44: Cation Exchange Water Softeners
  • NSF/ANSI Standard 55: Ultraviolet Microbiological Water Treatment Systems
  • NSF/ANSI Standard 62: Drinking Water Distillation Systems

Why Checking NSF Certification is Important before Buying a Drinking Water Filter?

Most manufacturers will tell you that their products are the best. So, how should we believe them? Yes, through certification by NSF, the most credible third party, independent testing organization.

NSF is the only third party organization that does a complete evaluation in every aspect of a water filter before the water filter can get certified.

These include:

  • certified water filters are re-tested against the most current version of the applicable standards
  • testing is done periodically (not one time activity)
  • selection of drinking water filter for testing is through random sampling
  • regular on-site inspections of the manufacturing facilities
  • un-informed inspection on the manufacturing facilities and sampling
  • ensuring drinking water filters meet performance claim as per declared by manufacturer.

For any reason, if the water filter systems fail to meet any certification criteria, NSF will take enforcement actions such as product recall, public notification or de-listed the products NSF certification.

Source : NSF.org