Clean Water for All

For inquiries, please contact:

David Loveday, Global Government Affairs Director, dloveday@wqa.org
Kathleen Burbidge, Global Regulatory & Government Affairs Manager, kburbidge@wqa.org

Clean Water for All One-Pager and Frequently Asked Questions
Clean Water for All Handout 
Clean Water for All: Point-of-Use & Point-of-Entry


The purpose of Clean Water for All Program proposal, developed by a WQA task force, is to empower Americans to significantly reduce or remove unwanted contaminants found in their drinking water, such as but not limited to lead, arsenic, nitrates, volatile organic compounds, PFOS, PFOA, chrome-6, and cysts.

Under the Clean Water for All Program, consumers could claim a rebate of up to $1,000 toward the purchase, installation, including filter replacements for one year after initial installation, and registration in a service agreement for product maintenance and filter media replacement program of a qualifying point-of-entry or point-of-use water treatment system to significantly reduce or remove harmful health contaminants.

  • Point-of-entry (POE) systems treat water before it enters the property or home, while point-of-use (POU) systems are installed to treat water where needed, like kitchen and bathroom taps.
     
  • POEs or POUs – installed at the individual home or business can be used to achieve potable water, providing a final barrier against unwanted contaminants in their drinking water. In areas where there are significant deficiencies in financial resources and technical support, POEs/POUs may be the best treatment option.
     
  • POEs/POUs can address drinking water concerns, are on the market, and quick to install. Like all household appliances, POEs/POUs require occasional maintenance.
     
  • POEs/POUs safety and performance can be verified through testing and certification to American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited standards by ANSI accredited third-party certification bodies.
     
  • POEs/POUs ANSI standards to certify products includes testing to significantly reduce or remove health contaminants found in drinking water, such as lead, arsenic, nitrate/nitrite, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and unregulated contaminants like per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and hexavalent chromium (chrome-6).
     

POEs/POUs Technologies.
Water Treatment for Dummies
POU Overview
POE Overview
Factsheet on Granular Activated Carbon
Factsheet on Ion Exchange
Factsheet on Reverse Osmosis (RO)
Factsheet on Ultraviolet UV light

Performance & Reliability.
Product Certification
Webinar on Product Certification Process
Find Certified Products by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accredited Certification Bodies:


Affordability.
Cost Benefits of Point-of-Use Devices in Reduction of Health Risks

Potential Health Effects from Common Drinking Water Contaminants.

Lead

Potential Health Effects

Children are more at risk than adults
Reduced intelligence, impaired hearing and decreased growth in children
Damage to the brain, kidneys, and bone marrow
Damage to the nervous system and red blood cells

Testing/Certification Standards NSF/ANSI 53 (filters) or NSF/ANSI 58 (RO systems)
Additional References

Arsenic

Potential Health Effects

Serious skin problems, endocrine disruptor
Cancer – skin, bladder, lung, kidney, liver, prostate
Harms cardiovascular & nervous systems

Testing/Certification Standards NSF/ANSI 53 (filters) or NSF/ANSI 58 (RO systems)
Additional References CDC on Arsenic

Nitrate/Nitrite

Potential Health Effects
Methemoglobinemia (blue baby syndrome)

Most potential health effects are seen in infants under the age of 6 months

Testing/Certification Standards NSF/ANSI 58 (RO systems)
Additional References

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Potential Health Effects
Some VOCs are carcinogens and/or may adversely affect the liver, kidneys, spleen, and stomach, as well as the nervous, circulatory, reproductive, immune, cardiovascular, and respiratory system

Some VOCs may affect cognitive abilities, balance, and coordination, and some are eye, skin, and/or throat irritants

Testing/Certification Standards NSF/ANSI 53 (filters) or NSF/ANSI 58 (RO systems)
Additional References ATSDR on VOCs
EPA on VOCs
NIH on VOCs

Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)

Potential Health Effects Low infant birth weight
Decreased fertility
Elevated cholesterol
Abnormal thyroid hormone levels
Liver inflammation
Weakening of the immune system
Cancer – testicular, kidney
*risks associated with many PFASs are largely unknown
Testing/Certification Standards NSF/ANSI 53 (filters) or NSF/ANSI 58 (RO systems)
Additional References

EPA on PFOA/PFOS
CDC on PFOA
CDC on PFAS
California Water Board on PFOA/PFOS
Minnesota DOH on PFAS
WQA Page on PFAS

Hexavalent Chromium (Chrome-6)

Potential Health Effects

Nausea, gastrointestinal distress, stomach ulcers, skin ulcers, allergic reactions
Kidney and liver damage
Reproductive problems
Lung and nasal cancer

Testing/Certification Standards NSF/ANSI 53 (filters) or NSF/ANSI 58 (RO systems)
Additional References

​​NIH on Chrome-6
EPA on Chromium
WHO on Chromium
ATSDR on Chromium
WQA Chromium Factsheet

Microorganisms (including Bacteria, Viruses, & Cysts)

Potential Health Effects  
Bacteria (Ex. coliform bacteria; E.coli) Diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, nausea, headaches, fever, fatigue, and even death sometimes
Infants, children, elderly people, and people with weakened immune systems are more risk
Viruses (Ex. enterovirus, hepatitis A, norovirus rotavirus) Gastrointestinal illness (for example, diarrhea, vomiting, cramps), hepatitis, meningitis
Cysts (Ex. giardia; cryptosporidium) The most common types of parasites found in waterborne cysts are giardia and cryptosporidium
Intestinal issues including diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting
Testing/Certification Standards NSF/ANSI 53 (filters) or NSF/ANSI 58 (RO systems); NSF Protocol P231
Additional References

Contaminant Occurrence Across the United States. This is not a complete list of contaminants.

WQRF Contaminant Occurrence Map

Lead
Lead 2015 violations (NRDC)

Arsenic
Arsenic & Wells (USGS)
Arsenic & Drinking Water (USGS)
Arsenic in ground water (USGS)
Arsenic in ground water samples (USGS)

Nitrate/Nitrite
Nitrate in ground water (USGS)

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
VOCs in ground water samples (USGS)
VOCs in ground water (USGS)

Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)
PFAS Map (EWG & SSEHRI)
PFAS Map using UCMR
PFAS Contaminant Site Tracker (SSEHRI)
States with Numerical PFAS Limits (PFAS Project)

Hexavalent Chromium (Chrome-6)
Chrome-6 reporting from UCMR3 (Cr(VI) Mode of Action (MOA) research studies)
Chrome-6 map (EWG)