A water treatment system for your home can be a great investment in the health and safety of your family – especially if your drinking water comes from a private well. But while choosing to install a water treatment system may be easy, choosing which water treatment system to install may not be so straight forward. Here are three guiding principles to help make the selection easier:
1) Get your water tested. Whatever the source of your drinking water, the starting point is to understand its basic chemistry. You simply cannot choose a solution if you don’t clearly understand what you are trying to fix. Be sure to choose a certified lab and follow the sampling instructions carefully. And don’t think you have to go it alone here. Your local public health office or a water treatment professional can help you to interpret the results.
2) Consult a water treatment professional. Water chemistry is not for everyone. But there are plenty of very experienced folks in the water industry. Ask for recommendations from family and friends, check references and credentials. The Water Quality Association (WQA) offers accreditation courses to maintain an educational standard within the industry. So look for folks with the designation Certified Water Specialist (CWS).
3) Buy a certified product. The most credible manufacturers will invest in third party certification of their product. Why? Because they know their product will stand up to the rigorous testing and their manufacturing process will withstand the scrutiny.
One of the most recognized marks in water treatment is the NSF mark. NSF International is a very well respected, independent certification organization. These are the folks who actually develop the standards to which water treatment products are tested such as NSF 55 for ultraviolet (UV) disinfection devices. When a UV system is NSF certified, it means the UV system complies with the strict standards and procedures imposed by NSF including extensive product testing and material analyses. But, in addition, the manufacturer is also subjected to unannounced plant inspections and regular re-testing of their products to maintain the NSF certification. It is not a one-time event but an ongoing review process. NSF certification is recognized by regulators at all levels from local and state to federal and international.
But consumers and homeowners also value the NSF mark on a product. A study conducted in 2012 showed that:
- 75% of consumers would purchase a product with a certification mark over one without when comparing two identical products;
- 38% of consumers would actually pay about 5% more for a certified product that is independently tested and certified.
Sometimes you may encounter a product that is described or labelled as “NSF validated”. This means that the product was tested by a 3rd party to the NSF standard but the actual testing of the product was not done by NSF nor is NSF inspecting that manufacturer’s facility to ensure continued product quality and performance. Not really the same thing.
Want the best for your family’s drinking water treatment system? Using a certified lab, talking to a certified professional and being specific about getting an NSF certified product will help you to make the best choice in water treatment.
Learn more at www.nsf.org