Many U.S. and Canadian codes and regulations require products to meet NSF standards or more accurately the ANSI-accredited and public domain NSF/ANSI standards. People are often confused into thinking that products then must "have NSF" or must have "NSF certification." This is not correct. It is important to understand the distinction between standards and certification.
Companies comply with codes and regulations specifying NSF/ANSI standards by obtaining product certifications to the cited standard(s). Compliant certifications are provided by any state or code accepted certification body or certification organization. In North America, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) are the recognized and accepted accreditation organizations. All states, USEPA, provinces, Health Canada, and codes rely on ANSI- and SCC-accreditations to determine the bona fide independent third party certifications that they will accept. All ANSI- and SCC-accredited certifiers must strictly adhere to the same stringent international standards and requirements of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for independent certification programs and testing laboratories. They must all always pass the continual and detailed audits for this compliance by ANSI and SCC to ensure product certifications are consistently accurate, complete, and without bias. All ANSI- and SCC-accredited certifiers are equivalent and equally accepted by regulators.
There are five (5) comparable certification programs that are equally accredited so that manufacturers have a level playing field of options to choose from. Any of these certification agencies can provide testing and certifications to the public domain NSF/ANSI standards . Each accredited certifier provides equivalent compliance to regulations and equivalent product assurance and acceptance for buyers.
The Water Quality Association (WQA), like other testing and certification agencies, is fully accredited by ANSI and SCC. The WQA Gold Seal Program tests and certifies drinking water treatment units, drinking water system components, drinking water additives, pool and spa equipment, and food equipment to NSF/ANSI standards.
The Water Quality Association issues our Gold Seal Mark only if the product(s) meets the strict testing requirements of the standard and the certified company meets WQA’s Gold Seal Program schemes. The Water Quality Association maintains its list of products that have been tested and certified to the NSF/ANSI standards.