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Do water filtration devices need to be registered?

The following information is from the EPA booklet Filtration Facts:

“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 Filtration Facts books may be found on the Safewater website: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/faq/pdfs/fs_healthseries_filtration.pdf (PDF, 7pp., 1.2 M, about PDF)

EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs’ Antimicrobial Division website provides additional information on EPA product registrations at http://www.epa.gov/oppad001/

Another resource is the Office of Pesticide Programs' webpage on Pest Control Devices: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/devices.htm

For more information you may contact the Antimicrobial Division by phone at 703-308-6411, or through the Pesticides Support Portal: http://pesticides.supportportal.com/ 

If you have questions about the safety of your drinking water, please contact 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.

Contact information for the Safe Drinking Water Hotline:

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


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Topic Information
  • Topic #: 23002-15296
  • Date Created: 03:07:2006
  • Last Modified Since: 07:07:2015
  • Viewed: 4476

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