NSF/ANSI 61: The Basics (Part 1)


In this blog we discuss the basics of NSF/ANSI 61 for chemical and potable water tanks.  

Each component of a public water treatment system is subjected to meeting certain criteria. The most important standard may be NSF/ANSI 61 certification. However, there's confusion among customers as to what it is and what it covers.

Let's look at NSF/ANSI 61 and detail how to ensure chemical storage tanks meet the proper requirements.


NSF_ANSI_Standard_61_Blue.jpgNSF/ANSI 61 is a set of nationally-recognized standards. Developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), this standard refers to water treatment requirements. Potable water equipment or products that support its production fall under this standard's jurisdiction.

Everything from ambient temperature water at various pH levels to more dangerous chemicals can be tested. In all cases the liquid is tested before and after exposure to a given piece of equipment to determine whether anything has been leached out or extracted from the equipment.

How to Tell if Your Chemical System Meets NSF-61

There are various levels of certification that a system can achieve. This is because NSF-61 certification can apply to so many different concentrations of chemicals. This variance can make understanding a specific certification challenging.

This means some manufacturers incorrectly explain certification levels for their products. Some customers may end up buying the wrong product for their application. In fact, some products listed as NSF-61 certified may only apply to potable water and not chemical storage or vice versa. In the next couple of blogs we will clarify the difference between the two certifications (chemical and potable water) as well as discuss the systems approach that Poly Processing Company takes with NSF-61 certification.

Many manufacturers are only testing pH 5, pH 8, and pH 10 exposure waters at ambient temperature, which is for potable water storage only. What they then fail to account for is potential leaching of materials in chemical storage tanks. We recommend visiting the NSF website to ensure a product meets the standards based on the chemical application and that the certification is for the specific chemical and not for potable water storage. You'll verify components listed by manufacturer along with the certified chemical components. Along with the name of the chemical is the percentage concentration. A less-than symbol means that a tank is certified to store up to that level of concentration. 

A full system certification includes even small parts. Smaller parts like gaskets and fittings must also pass certification to consider the full system certified. It's important that all materials meet this standard for potable water and chemical storage.

NSF_Certification.jpgPPC Offers a Smart Solution

Among manufacturers, Poly Processing is the only one with a complete chemical storage tank system that is NSF/ANSI-61 certified. Currently, we have NSF 61 Certification for 35 of the most popular water treatment chemicals on our XLPE tank systems. Additionally, our certifications cover XLPE tanks with OR-1000 (an antioxidant barrier) system.

In the next NSF/ANSI 61 blog (Part 2) we will discuss the differences between NSF 61 chemical certification and NSF 61 potable water certification. We will discuss the testing that takes place and how you, the consumer, can be sure your tank system is completely certified to the right standard for its intended use.

To find out more about NSF-61, download your copy of our NSF/ANSI 61 Certification eBook.


Download the NSF/ANSI 61 Decoded eBook

Topics: Certifications and Standards