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Breaking Down NSF 61 Certification


There may be some common misconceptions about the NSF 61 Certification; however, you can learn to see past them by finding out more about what this certification entails. Companies that manufacture, sell and distribute water treatment products or distribution products in the United States are sometimes required (according to varying state law) to meet this certification, but misconceptions around it leads to frequent mistakes in its implementation and compliance. These mistakes may allow contaminants to migrate or leach into drinking water causing unsafe and unhealthy conditions.

What Is an NSF 61 Certification

The NSF/ANSI Standard 61 is a set of national standards that relates to water treatment and establishes stringent requirements for all products with drinking water contact from source to tap and determines what contaminants may transfer from a product into drinking water. In short, complying with the NSF 61 standards guarantees that the potable water that reaches you, the consumer, is free from contaminants and safe to drink.

The NSF Certification Covers the Entire System, Not Just Parts of It

The NSF Certification may seem simple on the surface, but there are manufacturers who lack certification or have only maintained partial certification. For example, some companies may certify just their tank material, when in actuality there is much more within that system that needs to be accounted for. The fittings, gaskets, and other components associated with the tank or coming in contact with the water treatment chemical must also be certified. This is referred to as system certification as opposed to tank only certification.

There are different levels of NSF 61 certification and can apply to just potable water or a variety of chemicals. Many companies may also neglect certifying the chemicals in favor of certifying  potable water, possibly believing that this covers all the aspects of the system and compliance. However, true and complete NSF 61 Certification requires that all the parts of the water treatment system be certified, which means both water tanks and chemical tanks, as well as all associated accessories.

It is easy to verify if a tank system is NSF 61 certified as a system and for a specific chemical by visiting the NSF website

Learning More About NSF 61

At Poly Processing, we have NSF 61 Certification for 34 of the most popular water treatment chemicals on our XLPE tanks, as well as for XLPE tanks with OR-1000 (an antioxidant barrier). We also have a linear polyethylene tank system for potable water outside of XLPE tanks. Whether it’s chemical or potable water, Poly Processing’s certification includes all fittings and accessories to make it a safe and compliant system.

For those who want to learn about how other companies stand up, the NSF website can be used to easily search for the certifications that various manufacturers have. You can also access additional information, such as a list of the certified chemicals for each manufacturer, as well as the locations of their facilities.

To find out more about the national standards and their applications, download our guide to NSF 61.

Download Our NSF-61 Guide

Topics: Value Added