CHICAGO, IL, Sept. 4, 2014 — In an effort to help consumers identify environmentally friendly drinking water filters, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has recognized WQA/ASPE/ANSI S-803: Sustainable Drinking Water Treatment Systems by the Water Quality Association (WQA) and the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) as an American National Standard.

WQA collaborated with ASPE to take the original version of this standard (which has been in use as a private standard within the drinking water treatment industry for more than a year) through the formal public review process necessary for a voluntary public standard to be accredited by ANSI. S-803 is now the first sustainability standard for drinking water treatment products to receive such an accreditation.

Products certified as meeting the requirements of S-803 are eligible to bear the WQA Sustainability Mark in recognition of passing the rigorous assessment of sustainable production practices that must be adopted by the manufacturer of these devices. The standard also evaluates the products in all other phases of the product’s lifecycle, from responsible raw material sourcing, through product packaging and consumer use, and to end-of-life disposition. It even addresses the basic elements of corporate social responsibility (CSR).

The S-803 standard operates on a points-based system, giving manufacturers the freedom to choose from a menu of sustainability-oriented criteria. This allows them to implement those environmental initiatives that have the greatest impact relative to their products and business model but in the most cost-efficient way possible.

To achieve ANSI accreditation, the original WQA standard underwent two rounds of meticulous public review, including manufacturers, professional/trade associations, certifiers, consultants, government regulators, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), in addition to feedback generated from the companies already certified to the original standard.

The scope of S-803 includes drinking water filter products that utilize activated carbon, as well as similar types of filters made from polypropylene, polyethylene or string fibers. Meanwhile, the companion standard to S-803 — WQA/ASPE S-802: Sustainable Activated Carbon for Drinking Water Treatment — is also now in the final stages of the accreditation process and should become an American National Standard by the end of the year. The S-802 standard is a business-to-business standard that focuses on the sustainability of the raw activated carbon used in most of the filter systems that can be certified to S-803.

Finally, efforts are already on the horizon to expand the scope of S-803 to incorporate additional product categories. Add-on modules for ultraviolet (UV) treatment systems as well as dispensers/coolers are in the final phase of drafting and nearly ready for public review, with reverse osmosis (RO) and softeners/ion exchange media on the list for development in 2015.

See also:

Partnership seeks public comments on new sustainability standards

Water industry professional certification changes underway, announces WQA
About ASPE

ASPE is the only professional organization devoted to the training and certification of plumbing engineers and designers. ASPE and its 6,000 worldwide members are dedicated to protecting the health, welfare, and safety of the public through the dissemination of technical data and information to expand the base of knowledge among plumbing engineers, designers, contractors, code officials, inspectors, and manufacturers. For more information, visit

About WQA

WQA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. To best serve consumers, industry members and government officials, WQA has an ongoing dialogue with other organizations representing all aspects of the water treatment industry. Since 1959, the WQA Gold Seal certification program has been certifying products that contribute to the safe consumption of water. The WQA Gold Seal program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC). For more information, visit