Understanding Industry Certifications

WQA Provides third-party certification - notably it's Gold Seal - for products consumers can buy for water treatment. This program, after decades in existence, is the oldest third-party testing and certification program in the water treatment industry. The Gold Seal is easily recognizable and informs consumers that products are safe and work properly.

The Gold Seal Program is accredited as a reputable certification agency in the United States and Canada by ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and SCC (Standards Council of Canada) to ISO/IEC 17065. Consumers and industry professionals should remember to always look for the Gold Seal when choosing their water treatment products.

Product Testing and Certification

Manufacturers and suppliers can seek Gold Seal Certification for most products that contact household water. Certification covers everything from chemicals to plumbing components to filtration systems and water softeners. Product certification indicates a third-party organization has monitored the manufacturer's operations to ensure they meet guidelines for manufacturing processes and materials used. Products are tested to ensure compliance with industry standards, performance and certification requirements.Standards are detailed and rigorous and specific to the products certified. There are standards to cover many different water treatment technologies; some standards cover UV disinfection while other ensure that reverse osmosis systems perform as claimed. Certification also helps verify that manufacturers have good customer service measures in place and offer adequate product literature or information as well. Once companies go through this demanding process, they must retest their certified products regularly and submit to annual facility inspections to ensure that the products contine to meet or exceed industry standards.

Greener Water Treatment

To show our industry cares about the environment, the association members requested that WQA develop a Sustainability Certification Program for manufacturers to prove their products can be made in a sustainable "green" manner.

Products that successfully comply with the requirements of the WQA Sustainability Certification Program will display the Sustainability Mark to help consumers select greener water treatment products that help ensure safe drinking water while showing sensitivity to the environment.

The WQA Sustainability Certification Program is currently the only environmental certification program in the world to earn ANSI accreditation to ISO 17065 and ISO 14024 for Type I Environmental Labeling.  This provides independent, third-party verification that a product is environmentally responsible in all phases of its life cycle: from raw materials, production, distribution, use-phase, all the way through to end-of-life disposal.  View the ANSI listing webpage and certificate for accredited environmental labeling programs.

Products earn the mark only after they demonstrate internationally recognized best practices in corporate social responsibility and the reduction of harmful environmental impacts. Companies must undergo rigorous examination and regular audits to assess the manufacturer against voluntary industry standards developed by WQA task forces comprised of environmental experts, consultants, regulators, manufacturers, industry professionals, and other stakeholders. Be sure to look for the WQA Sustainability Mark when purchasing products.

Click here to search for products certified to WQA's sustainability standards.