UV systems provide fast-acting, environmentally responsible water disinfection, making them an attractive alternative to chemical water disinfection.
As use of UV water disinfection grows, there is an important question to answer: how do end users know that a system works?
Navigating the certification environment
Given the importance of safe water, it is surprising that neither Canada nor the United States have federal regulations for UV water disinfection in residential settings.
The lack of mandatory standards does not mean there are no standards. For example, NSF International, a globally recognized organization, has created a set of voluntary standards for UV water disinfection technology for home use.
There are different NSF standards depending on the function, size and end use of a product. While not required by law, many manufacturers of UV water disinfection products pursue NSF certification. This shows that their systems meet these minimum performance and safety standards.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is another source of standards for UV water disinfection for public water applications recognized worldwide.
Understanding the certification process
With end users placing their trust in certification, the testing process is understandably rigorous.
Broadly speaking, these are the key elements of the procedure for attaining certification:
- The manufacturer submits its UV water disinfection product and detailed documentation to a testing lab.
- Professionals at the lab thoroughly review the documentation. They gain a full understanding of how the product is designed and works, including all underlying technology and functional constraints.
- They then systematically test the product to ensure alignment between the documentation and actual construction and performance. This includes measuring performance against minimum standards, for example, consistent delivery of a minimum UV dose.
- The lab also carries out an inspection of the manufacturer’s production facilities to ensure they are up to standard.
- When the product meets all requirements, the product is certified for that specific standard.
Regular retesting and production facility inspections are required for a product to maintain its certification. In addition, re-certification is required any time a manufacturer makes changes to a product and each model must be certified separately.
For NSF certification, testing can be carried out in an NSF International lab or in third-party labs that test based on NSF standards. EPA does not offer its own testing services, so all testing to meet EPA standards is carried out by third-party labs.
Recognizing the value of third-party certification
Third-party certification can help you make an informed decision when purchasing a UV water disinfection system. Safety and reliability are essential no matter where you intend to use this technology. These requirements will be met with certification based on recognized industry standards.
UV disinfection systems intended for use at a public or commercial site (e.g. hospital, campground, hotel, etc.) generally require certification. In these settings, certification is essential for protecting public health, meeting compliance obligations and managing liability.
For residential use, the choice between certified and non-certified systems comes down to personal preference. While non-certified systems may come with a lower price, it is up to the end user to balance this against safety and reliability considerations.
Maintaining high standards at UV Pure
At UV Pure, safe water is our top priority. This commitment is reflected in our adherence to globally recognized safety and technology standards with most of our UV water disinfection products carrying NSF or EPA certifications.
The non-certified products we offer are made to the same high standards as our certified products.
When human health is on the line, there is no room for doubt. NSF and EPA certifications for UV water disinfection systems set the bar high, giving individuals and organizations around the world confidence that their water is safe.