Calif. Public Health Department to Abandon Drinking Water Unit Certification Program

The program will be eliminated after December 31 of this year

On April 6, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced that it would be abandoning the drinking water unit certification program after Dec. 31 of this year. 

The decision came after lengthy discussions with the Water Quality Assn. (WQA) and after the association introduced legislation to turn over certification responsibilities to American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited third-party certifiers such as NSF Intl. and WQA.

WQA has been working with CDPH officials as well as legal and legislative council since November 2011 to streamline the product registration process after application reviews were halted by the agency due to budgetary problems. WQA submitted proposed legislation to spur streamlining the process and the agency submitted its own legislative language. WQA was told that the governor has already signed off on the budget trailer bill language and that the chairman of the legislative committee is also on board.

Accordin to WQA, the agency's April notification letter left many questions unanswered. For this reason, WQA representatives met with CDPH officials on April 16 to discuss the pending hearing for the legislative bill and to clarify details for the program elimination. CDPH provided the budgetary language, which clearly indicated that the program will be eliminated in its entirety, including fees, applications and any other requirements of the program.

For companies selling products in California that make health claims, the products will require the approval of an ANSI-accredited certification body after passage of the 2012–2013 Budget Act. Enforcement will be conducted by any local health officer in the state of California.

If your company relies on the CDPH certification of products being sold in California rather than a third-party certification body, currently valid certificates issued by the Department of Public Health on or before Dec. 31, 2012, will remain in effect until five years following the date of initial issuance, not including any annual renewals. After that time, product approval by an ANSI-accredited certification body will be required.


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