Apr 23, 2007

California Approves WQA to Perform Third-Party Certification

A new 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 consumers and potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars.

On April 13, 2007, California’s Department of Health Services authorized 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 must still 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,” said Bruce Keswick, section head for Procter & Gamble and chair of WQA’s Retail Channel. “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 F. Harrison, CWS-VI, PE said, “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.”

WQA worked with Leah Godsey Walker, PE, chief of the Technical Operations Section for California’s Drinking Water Technical Programs Branch, and her staff on the agreement.

Walker also attended WQA Aquatech USA in March to report on progress. Walker also cited NSF/ANSI Standard 58 for reverse osmosis equipment as next in line for a potential third-party certification arrangement.