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What You Need to Know About Drinking Water Treatment Systems Before You Buy

Unless you look closely, many systems will appear to be the same. The question you need to ask is this, “Do they perform the same!” One way you can tell is to check to see if they are certified to the requirements of strict public health performance standards developed by NSF International. NSF is an internationally recognized, not-for-profit, third-party organization with more than 50 years experience in testing and certifying products to ensure they meet strict public health standards. NSF tests and certifies products to verify they meet these standards.

The end result for you – the assurance that a system will do what it says it will do. While other laboratories can test against the standards, NSF Certifies systems through an extensive evaluation and testing process that ensures the systems meet a series of stringent requirements. Only those that meet all of these requirements become NSF Certified. The process doesn’t end here, however.

NSF Certification also means systems must continue to meet these requirements, which is why NSF conducts unannounced inspections of manufacturing facilities. Some other testing labs may not do this–they may only test systems against portions of the standards. For a system to become NSF Certified it must meet not one, but five basic requirements.

The first requirement assures you contaminant reduction claims are true. The second assures you the system does not add anything harmful to the water. The third assures you the system is structurally sound. The fourth assures you advertising, literature and labeling are not misleading. And finally, the fifth assures you the materials and manufacturing process used don’t change, meaning consistent product quality over time. Only NSF puts systems through this comprehensive process to give you the assurance that systems will perform as claimed.

“NSF Certified”

  • Contaminant reduction claims are true.
  • The system is not adding anything harmful to the water.
  • The system is structurally sound.
  • Advertising, literature, and labeling are not misleading.
  • The materials and manufacturing process don’t change.

“Tested to NSF Standards”

  • Contaminant reduction claims are true?
  • The system is not adding anything harmful to the water?
  • The system is structurally sound?
  • Advertising, literature, and labeling are not misleading?
  • The materials and manufacturing process don’t change?

Some products are “NSF Certified.” Others say they’re “Tested to NSF Standards.” What’s the difference? Ask yourself the questions in the above chart to the right.

To make sure the system you buy is “NSF Certified,” check for the NSF Mark on the product. And be assured of product performance!

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