NSF Certifies Vapor Control Balls

July 3, 2008
Orange Products’ vapor control balls certified to NSF Standard 61

NSF Intl., a not-for-profit, public health and safety organization, announced that it has certified vapor control balls, also known as “shade balls,” produced by Orange Products, Inc. The shade balls met the requirements of NSF/ANSI Standard 61: Drinking Water System Components -- Health Effects, which includes requirements for all products that come in contact with drinking water.

The vapor control or shade balls are 4-in.-diameter high-density polyethylene balls that are intended for vapor control in potable water tanks and reservoirs with an average depth of nine feet or more.

“Vapor control or shade balls are used for blocking sunlight and reducing heat loss, evaporation and waterfowl fatalities in open-air bodies of water and chemicals,” said Kenneth Zaborowski of Orange Products, a manufacturer of plastic balls since 1946 in Allentown, Pa. “The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is using these products to block sunlight in an effort to reduce the formation of bromate in two of their open-air drinking water reservoirs.”

Dr. Pankaj Parekh, LADWP director of water quality compliance, said, “Water quality is priority number one for LADWP. Therefore, proper safety certification of the products we use is a fundamental operating principle at our department. The NSF’s certification was a determining factor for us to proceed in earnest with testing and, ultimately, implement the shade ball option.”

Certification of drinking water products to NSF/ANSI Standard 61 is required throughout the U.S. and Canada to measure if any chemical contaminants will leach into water at levels that may cause adverse effects to human health.

“These contaminants include those regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Health Canada, as well as any other nonregulated compounds that may be of concern,” said Dave Purkiss, general manager, NSF’s Drinking Water Systems Components Certification Program.

The NSF certification process begins with an inspection of the production facility, during which product samples are collected and sent to NSF laboratories to be tested. Under NSF/ANSI Standard 61, the vapor control balls are exposed to three different test waters with varying pH levels for seventeen days.

Samples of the test waters are then analyzed for a wide variety of contaminants, including metals and organic compounds, to ensure no contaminants were introduced at levels that would be considered a health concern. To ensure ongoing compliance with the requirements of NSF/ANSI Standard 61, NSF conducts annual, unannounced inspections of the manufacturing facilities for certified products and re-tests products on a regular basis.

Source: NSF International