First Protocol Developed for All Spa Components
As consumers step into a residential portable spa to relax after a long day of work, the last thing they need to worry about is whether their spa meets health and safety standards. But thanks to independent testing protocols developed by NSF International, consumers can rest assured that manufacturers have met the appropriate sanitation and performance requirements.
NSF International, a not-for-profit organization that certifies products and develops standards to help protect food, water, air and consumer products, is now addressing consumer interest in the safety of residential portable spas by unveiling a new protocol-Protocol 181 (NSF P181). NSF P181 is the first protocol to address certification of the entire residential spa.
NSF P181 establishes health and performance requirements for portable electrical spas that are intended for use and operation by an individual homeowner in a residential setting. From a consumer standpoint, this new protocol now provides residential spa users the same assurance that commercial spa users have had for years.
The protocol includes appropriate health and safety information on circulation, filtration, heating and sanitation of spa water for the homeowner in addition to materials, design & construction, and performance requirements such as water depth, safety covers and lighting requirements.
There are several standards (ASTM, NSF, UL) that address different components of the spa. NSF P181 combines the requirement for these standards under one protocol, a protocol that was developed with assistance from state and federal regulators, industry and academicians.
All certified spas will bear the NSF P181 certification mark, a mark that lets spa manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and homeowners know that all health and safety requirements have been met. To display the NSF Mark on a product, manufacturers must meet guidelines outlined in NSF P181 that cover all residential portable electrical spas components. HotSpring Spas®, made by Watkins Manufacturing Corp., is the first product to meet the stringent requirements and earn the right to bear the NSF P181 certification mark.
"By combining safety and performance requirements into one protocol, NSF P181 is raising the bar in spa safety," said Keith Harbol, Chemical Engineer, Watkins Manufacturing.
A Masco company since 1987 and located in Vista, CA, Watkins has manufactured more than 600,000 spas since its inception over 27 years ago. HotSpring Spas®, the world's number one selling brand of portable spas, is the company's flagship brand, however, Watkins also manufactures Caldera®, Tiger River®, Hot Spot® and Solana® spas. All these brands have a common element; they are built based on Watkins' fundamental mission to produce quality spas that are superior to the host of others on the market. Watkins' quality systems are certified to be in accordance with ISO 9001:2000, the highest international standard for design and manufacturing excellence. Web site: www.hotspring.com 
NSF International, The Public Health and Safety Co., is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization that protects consumers through testing and certification of food, water, indoor air, and environmental products. Known best for their product certification programs, consumers can find the trusted NSF Mark on over 140,000 products worldwide in more than 80 countries. Other services include management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations, Ltd., and education through the NSF Center for Public Health Education. Founded in 1944, NSF International is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan.