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WQA/ASPE Standard for Sustainable Drinking Water Treatment Products Achieves ANSI Accreditation

LISLE, Illinois – In order to help consumers identify environmentally friendly drinking water filters, the Water Quality Association (WQA) and the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) announced today that WQA/ASPE/ANSI S-803 (2014): Sustainable Drinking Water Treatment Systems has been officially accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as an American National Standard.

WQA collaborated with its ASPE partners to take the original version of this standard (which has already been in use as a private standard within the drinking water treatment industry for over 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 which are certified as meeting the requirements of WQA/ASPE/ANSI S-803 are eligible to bear the WQA Sustainability Trademark, 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 life cycle, from responsible sourcing of raw material, through product packaging, consumer use and end-of-life disposition.  The standard also addresses the basic elements of corporate social responsibility.

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 companies to implement those environmental initiatives that have the greatest impact relative to their products and business model, but in the most cost-effective way possible.

“This initiative will help the drinking water treatment industry distinguish itself in the area of environmental leadership and give credibility to companies that want to demonstrate their environmental achievements,” said Stuart Mann, WQA Sustainability Certification Supervisor.

In order to achieve the ANSI accreditation, the original WQA standard underwent two rounds of meticulous public review conducted by a diverse and balanced ASPE committee. Feedback from professional/trade associations, certifiers, consultants, government regulators, and NGOs, as well as manufacturers already certified to the original standard, was also considered.

"ASPE was honored to be chosen by the WQA to take their standards through the ASPE development process and to ultimately achieve approval as American National Standards,” says Jim Kendzel, MPH, CAE, and ASPE Executive Director/CEO. “We are committed to continuing to serve the water treatment industry through the development and maintenance of sustainability standards.”

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 for business-to-business certification 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 UV Treatment Systems as well as Dispensers/Coolers are in the final phase of drafting and nearly ready for public review, with Reverse Osmosis and Softeners/Ion Exchange Media on the list for development in 2015.

WQA/ASPE/ANSI S-803 (2014) can be purchased as a download from ASPE’s online store at

Those interested in applying for certification to WQA/ASPE/ANSI S-803 may contact Stuart Mann, CWS-VI, WQA Sustainability Certification Supervisor, at or 630-929-2546.


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

The Water Quality Association (WQA) is a not-for-profit international trade association representing the residential, commercial and industrial water treatment industry. WQA maintains a close dialogue with other organizations representing different aspects of the water industry in order to best serve consumers, government officials, and industry members. WQA is an information resource and a voice for the water industry, an educator for professionals, a laboratory for product testing and certification, and a communicator to the public. WQA maintains a Gold Seal Certification Program (for safety and performance certifications) and a Sustainability Certification Program in order to serve the certification needs of the water treatment industry.