Everything You Need to Know About NSF Certified

This article contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase, we may receive a small commission without any additional cost to you. Read more

NSF is the abbreviated form for the National Sanitation Foundation. NSF International is an organization that provides third-party testing and validation for products dispatched for public consumption. The body was founded in 1944 to protect and improve global human health.

Whenever regulators, users, industries, manufacturers, and consumers want to develop public health standards and certifications that help protect food, water, consumer products, and the environment, they turn to NSF International.

NSF International’s operations revolve around tests, audits, product and system certifications, and education and risk management. All the public health and safety standards that there must be set and tested by NSF International.

NSF Certification for water filter systems

As already mentioned, NSF tests and validates public health and safety standards for whatever is dispatched to the public, including water. NSF Certification for water filter systems incorporates ANSI (American National Standards), a body founded in the 1970s by NSF International to determine the safety of drinking water by monitoring the materials and products that treat or come in contact with drinking water. The set standards apply for water filters used at home and in businesses.

Two safety standards are used to gauge the safety of water filter systems and certify them. First is the NSF/ANSI Standard 53 for Drinking Water Treatment Units. This is the nationally recognized standard used to evaluate and certify the drinking water treatment systems to reduce contaminants’ contact with drinking water.

The double standard is the NSF/ANSI Standard 58 for Water Treatment Systems. This nationally recognized standard regulates water treatment systems that apply reverse osmosis technology in their operation, as do water filter systems. To certify water filter systems, they must undergo the NSF/ANSI 53 and 58 checks to determine whether reduce contaminants, including the lead in the drinking water, as per the standards’ requirements.

Process of Certification

The NSF certification process is so vital. Through the process, stakeholders get the information to gauge compliance to the existing regulatory and purchase specifications, mitigate risks by applying risk management principles, and gauge the general suitability systems, products, and processes. The certification process will vary depending on the certified product, service, or system and the needed certification. However, there are seven basic steps that every certification process will follow. Below are the basic steps followed during any NSF Certification process:

  1. Product/service certification application and information submission
  2. Evaluation of the product
  • Testing the product in the lab
  1. Manufacturing facility inspection, production confirmation, and product sampling
  2. Review of the test results review product acceptance
  3. Contract signing and products listing
  • Annual inspecting and retesting the plant

Benefits of NSF certified Products (water filters)

Probably you are wondering why you have to go through all this hassle of NSF International Certification.  Of course, the process is voluntary yet worthwhile. Although you might not like some of the experience in the certification process, the process is worth the hassle as there are benefits that come with it. Here are some of the benefits you are sure to count on when you opt to go through the NSF Certification process;

  • You will be assigned a dedicated account manager. Such a manager will commit fully to working with you and stay with you every step of the process. Suppose you incur any challenge that requires technical attention; you have the expert right there with you!
  • Quick testing and verification in world-class labs. Imagine having your water filter systems tested and verified in a world-class lab? You will meet your business goals. For instance, if the water filters you have at your restaurant are NSF Certified, you will take your business places.  NSF is international in scope, and that’s an added advantage. Certifying your water filters by NSF International earns your water filter a reputation it would never make had you not signed in for the NSF Certification.
  • Consumer peace of mind. NSF Certification does not benefit you and your water filters only. Your consumers equally benefit from the certification. Seeing the NSF trademark on the water filters or knowing that you are using are NSF Certified gives your consumers peace of mind. Even those drinking from your filters gets peace of mind from knowing that your water filters are safe. If you sell the water filters, the news will quickly spread about your filters’ certification, and many clients will ask for your water filters. That’s the power of peace of mind.
  • More comprehensive visibility is given to your water filters. When NSF International certifies products and services, they put the information on their website. This means that when they certify your water filters, they update that on their website. Remember, it’s online where we get every data we need. People will have wider visibility of your water filters and reach out to you to access them.

Are Non-NSF certified water filters safe for use?

Now you know what NSF International is and the NSF Certification for water filters. You also know the NSF Certification process of any product or service and the benefits of certifying your water filters with NSF.

Do you feel like you know all there is and are ready to go? Wait, there is something else; are non-NSF certified water filters safe for use? It is good to remember that the NSF Certification mark does not automatically guarantee the water filters’ safety. You have to verify that the water filter is up to the standard, as per the standard’s requirements.

Besides, although 90% of drinking water is safe, clearing your drinking water of contaminants such as lead is essential. NSF Certified water filters reduce lead particles in your water. A water filter may be working efficiently for you, but ask yourself whether it removes lead. If it does not, then it’s not all safe for you. Hence, non-NSF Certified water filters that cannot remove lead particles from your drinking water will not be safe.


The safety of our drinking water is increasingly becoming a significant concern. This is due to the rise of death cases caused by unsafe drinking water. One way of assuring the safety of your water filters is establishing whether they are NSF certified.

NSF International is an organization that tests and validates services, products, and systems dispatched for public consumption. The body tests and verifies food, water, products, systems, and services to meet safety standards.

The NSF certification process consists of seven worthwhile steps because of the benefits you stand to enjoy. NSF Certification is the surest way to reduce contaminants such as lead from your water.

Jeremy Lee is a researcher and part-time blogger who has a passion to discover cutting-edge technologies related to water filtration. He knows the importance of purified water in our lives and started this blog aiming to provide the best product reviews, buying guides, and other useful information related to water. When not working, he loves to spend time with his beloved wife and two kids.