Your ‘One-Stop-Shop’ for Product Certification

Yes, you did it! You have achieved Water Quality Association (WQA) Gold Seal certification for your products and are ready to sell, sell, sell! Well, that may indeed be true—but only if your market doesn’t consist of all 50 states. Each state has the jurisdiction to make its own laws to protect the health and safety of its residents.

Although most states allow products to be sold with just a third-party mark (WQA Gold Seal) on the product, or no mark at all, there are four special states that require some additional work before you can have the privilege of selling your products there. These four states are California, Iowa, Massachusetts and Wisconsin.

Dealing with so many different agencies and requirements can be a long, confusing process. This is where the WQA can help. The WQA can bundle your state registrations along with your Gold Seal product certifications to get you out selling to all 50 states as soon as possible.

The WQA has years of experience registering products in the states and can help in many ways. Once your Gold Seal certification is complete, the WQA can map out the state certification process including meeting deadlines; filling out applications; sending test data, testing justifications, product literature and product information; as well as being the only point of contact for the states throughout the entire process. The process will be expedited right from the beginning due to the WQA, including meeting individual state requirements on the literature review and making sure test reports and justifications are prepared to the states’ specifications.

California

The California Department of Health Services (DHS) requires all drinking water treatment devices that make health-related performance claims to obtain California DHS certification before they can be sold or installed in California. Among many others, health claims include contaminants such as barium, radium, turbidity, lead, VOCs and viruses. California DHS has a detailed website containing instructions, checklists, forms and excerpts from California Statutes and Regulations.

However informative, this wealth of information can be difficult to digest the first time through. Using its experience, the WQA can gather all the information required for certification, which includes literature, test reports from an approved independent testing laboratory (WQA is approved), testing justifications, wetted parts lists, product drawings and a completed application. Once a certification packet is submitted, the WQA will continue to be the liaison and answer any questions the state may have until the products are certified. Once a product is approved, it receives a certification number and an actual certificate that must be placed in product literature. Certifications are also listed on the California DHS website.

Iowa

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) requires all water treatment systems that claim to reduce health-related contaminants to gain approval from the Iowa Water Treatment Registration Program before they can be sold or installed in the state of Iowa. The IDPH will review product listings, literature, test results and other general product information.

The WQA can provide submittal packets and answer any questions the IDPH may have regarding test results, justifications or literature issues. Once a product is listed, it is assigned a registration number and will be up for renewal between April 1 and June 30 of each year.

Massachusetts

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure is the governing board for product approval. The CMR 248 General Law covers what products are considered plumbing and will be under the plumbing jurisdiction. This can be summed up as any products installed after the water meter or the outlet side (house side), which usually includes softeners, filters and faucet-mount products. The manufacturer, or a representative, must attend two board meetings to gain product approval. Each board member will review all product literature and WQA listings.

The WQA can prepare submittal packets, attend board meetings or pro-vide general assistance for Massachusetts product approval. The WQA is a national testing laboratory acceptable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Once a product is approved, it is assigned an approval code and posted on the Approved Plumbing Products Online System.

Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Commerce Safety and Buildings Division reviews and approves water treatment devices that are installed in or on a water supply system. This process must be done before a product can be sold or installed for use in a plumbing system in the state of Wisconsin. The Safety and Buildings Division thoroughly reviews product literature and third-party listings. Once a product is approved, it is added to the Wisconsin Plumbing Products Register and is ready to be sold and installed in the state of Wisconsin.

Product certification is a valuable and necessary tool in the DWTU business. Unfortunately, it can also be a complicated one. Let the WQA be your “one-stop-shop” for all of your certification needs—product testing, Gold Seal certification and state certification. Once you experience the ease of dealing with only one representative, rather than five or even more, you will realize it is worth it.

Sarah Zrout, CWS-I, is WQA quality manager. She can be reached at 630.929.2541, or by e-mail at szrout@mail.wqa.org.

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