Why NSF/ANSI 61 Matters

Gaskets and seals from materials compliant to NSF/ANSI 61

In August, we are featuring blogs on the NSF-61 standard for potable (drinking) water. To initiate our blog series, we devote this initial blog to answering some commonly asked questions about the NSF-61 standard.

What is NSF/ANSI 61?

Developed by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), NSF/ANSI 61 includes criteria for testing and evaluating products to ensure they do not leach hazardous contaminants into water. Developed by a team of scientists, industry experts and key industry stakeholders, NSF/ANSI 61 establishes minimum criteria for impurities and contaminants that may be released indirectly into drinking water from products, components and materials, including joining and sealing materials such as gaskets and seals.

Why is NSF/ANSI 61 important?

The use of gaskets and seals compliant to NSF/ANSI 61 are becoming increasingly important in certain industry sectors in both Canada and the USA. In the USA, all states now require NSF/ANSI 61 for municipal water product components. State agencies can order removal of non-certified products. Fines can be issued, but the cost of removing or replacing equipment is likely to exceed the fine. Enforcement often occurs at the bid request stage when a utility is not specifying NSF/ANSI 61 in a bid or if it specifies NSF/ANSI 61 but awards the contract to a product that is not compliant.

In Canada, similar regulations are being enacted. According to NSF, Canada is including the same wording as the US legislation in its standards and codes, and many Canadian provinces now require products used in municipal-water distribution systems and building plumbing systems to comply with the requirements of NSF/ANSI 61.

Who needs to be aware of NSF/ANSI 61?

As NSF/ANSI 61 becomes increasingly adopted within industry and government, suppliers of equipment and components that will come into contact with drinking water are likely to be affected. This includes manufacturers and suppliers of the following:

  • Public drinking water distribution systems and equipment, including water storage tanks and reservoirs, water meters and all individual components.

  • Joining and sealing materials (gaskets, adhesives, lubricants).

  • Mechanical devices (water meters, valves, and filters).

  • Pipes and related products (pipe, hose, fittings).

  • Plumbing devices (faucets, drinking fountains).

  • Fire hydrants.

  • Process media (filter media, ion exchange resins).

  • Non-metallic potable water materials.

What do I need to do?

If your product is certified to NSF/ANSI 61, you will want to ensure that aspects of your production process which comes into contact with the end product uses equipment and components that are NSF/ANSI 61 certified.

At Canada Rubber Group Inc. (CRGI), we can supply gaskets, seals, and fabricated rubber products that are manufactured from NSF/ANSI 61 materials. If you are involved with municipal water distribution, or are a business that requires gaskets or fabricated rubber products compliant to NSF/ANSI 61, we will be pleased to discuss how we can service your needs. To find out more about gaskets and fabricated rubber products we can fabricate from American Biltrite NSF/ANSI 61 EPDM and other NSF/ANSI 61 compliant materials, contact our sales department at crg@canadarubbergroup.com.