News Releases

Landmark Sustainability Standard Now Covers Dispensers and UV Systems

Lisle, Illinois  The Water Quality Association (WQA) and the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) announced today that a new 2015 version of WQA/ASPE/ANSI S-803: Sustainable Drinking Water Treatment Systems received formal accreditation by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as an American National Standard.  This new version has expanded its scope to include ultraviolet (UV) treatment systems as well as dispensers (including coolers and heaters). 

The original version of WQA/ASPE/ANSI S-803, which was approved in 2014, covered filtration products utilizing activated carbon, polypropylene, polyethylene and string-wound filter media. WQA collaborated with ASPE and various water treatment industry stakeholders to develop new modules designed to address the distinct environmental impacts of UV treatment systems and cooler type products.

In particular, the new modules address energy efficiency in the use-phase of the product lifecycles; the toxicity and “conflict minerals” in electrical components; the ozone depletion and global warming effects of refrigerants; and the utilization and end-of-life disposition of mercury in UV lamp elements.  These new requirements are in addition to the basic environmental management criteria already included in the existing S-803 standard.

Products that meet the requirements and become certified to WQA/ASPE/ANSI S-803 are eligible to bear the WQA Sustainability Trademark.

“This standard will help the drinking water treatment industry distinguish itself in the area of environmental leadership, help manufacturers improve their environmental footprint, and help give credibility to companies that wish to promote their environmental achievements,” says Stuart Mann, MWS, WQA sustainability certification supervisor.

The S-803 standard is currently the only sustainability standard in existence that applies specifically to drinking water treatment systems.  It operates via a points-based framework, 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.

Efforts are already underway to further expand the scope of S-803 to incorporate additional product categories.  Add-on modules for water softeners and ion-exchange media are currently being developed, with reverse osmosis membranes and systems on the horizon for 2017.

WQA/ASPE/ANSI S-803 (2015): Sustainable Drinking Water Treatment Systems can be purchased as a download from ASPE’s online store at

Those interested in applying for certification to WQA/ASPE/ANSI S-803 can receive complimentary copies by contacting Stuart Mann, at or 630-929-2546.