Why Should My Water Filter be WQA Certified?By John Davis - January 23, 2015
The Water Quality Association (WQA) was established in 1974 by the merger of two existing trade associations; Water Conditioning Association International – which represented water treatment equipment dealers – and the Water Conditioning Foundation – which represented water treatment equipment manufacturers and suppliers.
Today the WQA primarily represents the portion of the water treatment industry that is responsible for delivering safe, clean water at your home or business location. In other words, the filters or water purification systems you are likely researching right now.
Making sure the water filtration system you select has been tested and certified by the WQA is an advisable step to take. Doing so assures that the system you’ve put in place has passed their thorough testing process and meets all industry standards.
Benefits of WQA Gold Seal Product Certification
The WQA has be testing and issuing it’s Gold Seal Product Certification for decades, making it the oldest third-party water system industry testing and certification program in existence.
Having a WQA Gold Seal Certification means the product has been tested thoroughly for both structural integrity as well as functionality to make sure it will do everything it has been advertised to do and also that all components or materials that touch your drinking water will not add any harmful contaminants into your water.
For you, the consumer, the Gold Seal provides added peace of mind as manufacturers are not able to achieve certification indefinitely. The WQA provides annual audits to make sure the products are still being produced to precisely the same standards and in the same way as when certification was originally issued.
WQA Gold Seal Certification also assures the NSF standard for that particular type of water filtration system is being met. For instance, a reverse osmosis system would be tested against the NSF/ANSI 58 standard and water softeners against NSF/ANSI 44.
Getting and maintaining a gold seal is not easy, and with so many water filtration products on the market it definitely helps to narrow down the options.
The WQA also provides a lot of other useful information for consumers and retailers as well.
For one they provide product certification in 9 different areas;
- Drinking Water Treatment Units (DWTU) – Full water treatment systems such as reverse osmosis or water softeners
- Drinking Water System Components – The parts that much up a water treatment system
- Drinking Water Treatment Chemicals – Chemicals that are added to drinking water for taste or aesthetic purposes
- Sustainable Drinking Water Treatment Products – Recognizes environmental sustainability and best practices
- Low Lead Compliance – Shows that companies are complying with the EPA’s regulations of lead percentage in components that come into contact with drinking water
- EPA Watersense – Helps consumers identify water system devices that can help save water
- Food Equipment – Certifies equipment that comes into contact with food or drinks
- Bottle Water – Certifies the bottling facility and product pass testing and audits
- International Standards – Test for standards that apply outside the US and Canada
WQA Sustainability Certification
The Water Quality Associations Sustainability Certification program rewards companies that meet industry standards for best practices in environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility. It shows consumers and retailers that the products they are purchasing are not only safe for humans, but also for the planet.
The Sustainability Certification program has two primary standards;
- WQA S-802: Sustainable Activated Carbon Media for Drinking Water Treatment
- WQA S-803: Sustainable Drinking Water Treatment Systems – This standard currently only covers systems and components that utilize activated carbon, string wound or PP/PE filters. However there are plans to extend this standard to other drinking water systems such as reverse osmosis, Ultraviolet, dispenses and fountains. Ultimately this standard will included all available type drinking water technologies.
To achieve either of these two certification must first obtain a prerequisite standard WQA S-801: Sustainable Management. This is the portion of the certification that accounts for corporate social responsibility.
Certification For Industry Professionals
The WQA also offers and educational program geared towards professionals that work in the area of drinking water systems. Candidates are trained in areas such as water treatment technology theory and application, residential, commercial, and industrial applications, plumbing basics, equipment installation, and disinfection.
To achieve any WQA-certified title, the candidate must pass a comprehensive exam and accept the WQA Code of Ethics for the Water Quality Improvement Industry.
They offer distance and modular learning programs as well seminars, webinars, and workshops for their students.
Companies whose employees hold WQA Prefessional Certifications give you the peace of mind knowing you are dealing with competence in the area of safe drinking water systems and applications.
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