Do water filtration devices need to be registered?
Some units have an EPA registration number and an EPA establishment number. EPA registration (unlike that of NSF, WQA, or UL) is not intended to guide consumers in selecting a water treatment device, and is not an endorsement of the product. EPA registers any product that contains an antimicrobial (germ-killing) or bacteriostatic (slowing or inhibiting growth of germs) agent. EPA registers these products because consumers cannot independently verify whether the germ-related claims they make are true.
For most units, an EPA registration number means that the filter uses a bacteriostatic agent to slow the growth of microbes within the filter, the unit does not pose a human health threat, and EPA has verified all bacteriostatic claims on the label. Registration is not an endorsement of the filter or its performance. The most commonly used bacteriostatic agent is silver.
EPA also registers a type of water treatment device known as a purifier. A purifier must remove, kill, or inactivate all types of disease-causing organisms from the water, including viruses. Few water treatment devices can meet these criteria. These units typically work using a disinfectant within the filter to kill or inactivate microbes. Most purifiers are used by hikers or campers and are not generally needed in homes served by public water systems unless there is a water emergency.
EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs’ Antimicrobial Division website provides additional information on EPA product registrations at www.epa.gov/oppad001.
Another resource is the Office of Pesticide Programs' Web page on Pest Control Devices: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/devices.htm
For more information you may contact the Antimicrobial Division at:
Questions and comment form: http://pesticides.supportportal.com/ (click on the "Ask a Question tab)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Pesticide Programs (Mail Code 7510P)
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20460
The EPA’s National Homeland Security Research Center (NHSRC), Water Infrastructure Protection Division (WIPD), headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, is responsible for evaluating ways to protect drinking water supplies. As part of this responsibility, researchers at NHSRC are evaluating Point of Use/Point of Entry (POU/POE) devices. Both POU and POE devices treat water coming from the distribution system to a home or facility. POU treats water at only the tap to which it is connected, while POE treats all the water coming into the building. Testing of the POU/POE devices takes place as part of NHSRC’s Technology Testing Evaluation Program (TTEP). TTEP was formerly part of EPA’s Environmental Technology Verification Program (ETV).
For more information, visit the NHSRC's TTEP Program Web area at:
You may also be interested in the following FAQ: Where do I find information about drinking water quality in my home and water treatment units?:http://publicaccess.supportportal.com/ics/support/KBAnswer.asp?questionID=24427
The Safe Drinking Water Hotline provides information about local drinking water quality; drinking water standards; public drinking water systems; source water protection; large capacity residential septic systems; commercial and industrial septic systems; injection wells; and drainage wells. They can be contacted at:
Hours: Monday through Friday (except Federal Holidays) 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., EST
Safe Drinking Water Hotline
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20460
You can also submit questions at the Ground Water and Drinking Water Frequently Asked Questions Database: http://safewater.supportportal.com/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=23015
Additionally, the National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP) may be able to provide free publications about water issues. NSCEP is EPA's premier site for accessing EPA publications. You can search and retrieve, download, print and/or order EPA publications free of charge from this site. NSCEP also features useful links to other sources for obtaining publications. A detailed Users Guide is available to assist you with searching and locating the publications you require.
Links referred to above:
Filtration Facts, http://www.epa.gov/safewater/faq/pdfs/fs_healthseries_filtration.pdf
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- Topic #: 23002-15296
- Date Created: 3/7/2006
- Last Modified Since: 5/21/2013
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