A new drinking water filtration standard from NSF International and the American National Standards Institute promises to reduce potentially harmful microorganisms from municipal drinking water systems during the critical period between a water-supply contamination and a boil-water advisory.
NSF/ANSI 244: Supplemental Microbiological Water Treatment Systems – Filtration establishes minimum requirements for mechanical water filtration devices that reduce bacteria, viruses, and protozoan cysts. These include point-of-entry, or “whole house” filters, and point-of-use filters, such as plumbed-in units under the kitchen sink, faucet-attached units, and refrigerator filters.
“NSF/ANSI 244 establishes the minimum requirements and performance characteristics for products that claim to reduce the type of potentially harmful microorganisms that can get into the water supply if there is some kind of unexpected microbiological contamination event,” NSF International Director of Standards Development Jessica Evans said.
“Consumers—especially those with compromised immune systems—can be confident that products certified to the standard will provide protection if there is some kind of event with the public water system,” Evans added.
Water filtration devices certified to the new standard can reduce the risks associated with disease-causing microbes in the hours or days before a boil-water advisory can be issued.
Devices covered under the new standard are intended only for protection against accidental microbiological contamination of otherwise safe drinking water. In the case of a contamination event or boil-water advisory, consumers should follow their municipal water authority’s instructions and maintain their water filtration device per the manufacturer’s instructions once the event is over.
NSF/ANSI 244 was developed by a committee of 33 stakeholders representing consumers, the water industry, and state and federal health and environmental agencies in the U.S. and Canada. Prior to release, NSF/ANSI 244 was ratified by NSF’s Council of Public Health Consultants, which includes representatives from the EPA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.