Dec 08, 2010

EPA Plans to Develop WaterSense Standards for Water Softeners

Agency is hosting a webinar for those interested in helping create the standard

After nearly two years of preliminary study, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will begin the process next month of drafting standards that will eventually allow
WaterSense labeling on water softeners.

WaterSense is an EPA program that promotes water-efficient products by partnering with industries to create labeling systems, among other objectives. EPA is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST, to take input from those interested in being part of the creation of standards that will eventually lead to labeling for water softeners.

The ultimate goal is to use the NSF/ANSI 44 Residential Cation Exchange Water Softeners standard as a basis to develop new high-efficiency guidelines. Devices earning the new certification would be eligible to receive an EPA WaterSense label. The intention is also for testing and certification of these products to be done by ANSI-accredited certification bodies, such as the Water Quality Assn. (WQA). WQA plans to include this testing and certifying into its program when it is finalized.

The new standard could provide new marketing opportunities for companies, which could be especially helpful in communities facing water consumption and salinity issues. By acting cooperatively with the EPA, the industry also will be demonstrating a progressive and green-oriented approach.

WQA has been working with EPA officials for almost two years to lay the groundwork for the standard's development. The association has been providing data and information to help ensure that the most effective standard will be created. WaterSense already offers labeling for other products, including showerheads and toilets. WQA also helped with the development of these standards.