WQA Gold Seal Certification

About the Gold Seal Program

Water Quality Association Gold SealThe Water Quality Association's (WQA) Gold Seal Certification Program represents the oldest third party testing and certification program in the drinking water treatment industry.

WQA tested and certified its first product in 1959.

WQA's Gold Seal has become one of the most recognized certification Mark's in the United States and throughout the World as an identifier of product quality.

The Water Quality Association has established working relationships with the following agencies in order to maintain the highest standards for independence, state of the art operations, trust and acceptance in the USA and throughout the World.

  • Environment Protection Agency (US EPA)
  • Food and Drug Administration (US FDA)
  • Center for Disease Control (US CDC)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • National Ground Water Association (NGWA)
  • Plumbing Manufacturer's Institute (PMI)
  • Aqua Europa
  • Amsterdam RAI
  • NSF International (NSF), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), International Association of Plumbing Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), and Canadian Standards Association (CSA)

Mission ?Gold Seal Program

The Water Quality Association's Gold Seal Certification Program is dedicated to providing public health and safety services throughout the USA and globally, while maintaining expert service, superior reputation, and fair pricing. The Gold Seal Program offers certification of all products and chemicals that contact drinking water.

WQA Gold Seal Product Certification Program at a Glance

A Mark of Product Quality

Manufacturers and suppliers of products that contact drinking water, including chemicals, plumbing components, filters, water softeners, coatings, faucets, reverse osmosis systems or any other product(s) that contacts drinking water can be certified by the Water Quality Association's (WQA) Gold Seal Product Certification Program.


Our program helps consumers choose quality water treatment products, provides specifying engineers a list of approved products that can contact drinking water, and assures manufacturers, regulators and consumers that products certified by the Water Quality Association comply with all requirements of standards used throughout the drinking water industry (WQA, NSF/ANSI, IAPMO, ASME, and ASTM).

Products that display the Gold Seal provide assurance to consumers and regulatory agencies that these certified products have been rigorously tested and meet the requirements of the standard, WQA's program polices and WQA's plant inspection policies for which WQA maintains certification.

WQA was the first organization to developed testing standards and certification policies for products that treat drinking water and consumer surveys illustrate that the Gold Seal Mark is one of the most recognized seals by consumers.

Benefits of the Water Quality Association's Gold Seal Product Certification Program include: One on one communication with a certified water specialist, testing conducted in a state of the art laboratory, quick turn around times, fair pricing, and use of the Gold Seal (the industries most recognized Mark for product quality).


WQA's Gold Seal Program has also been accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) to ensure that our certification program meets all your regulatory needs and requirement in order to sell or distribute your product throughout North America.

Why Choose Gold Seal?

The WQA Gold Seal certification program's ANSI accreditation ensures that products certified by WQA are accepted by consumers and regulators.

Not only do consumers recognize the Gold Seal as the most appealing Mark in the business, they appreciate the confidence in purchasing choices that product certification provides them. Products bearing the Gold Seal assure consumers that these systems meet or exceed industry standards for material safety, structural integrity, and performance in removing a variety of drinking water contaminants. The Gold Seal is widely accepted as mark of quality and can be used as a marketing tool for your consumers.

Regulators can be assured that products certified by the Water Quality Association meet or exceed the requirements of industry standards (WQA, NSF/ANSI, IAPMO, ASME, ASTM, etc.)

Current listings of WQA Gold Seal certified products are available on www.wqa.org, which allows regulators to easily identify certified products. WQA frequently works with regulators and assists them in locating a certified product when needed.

Personal Service

Whether your company is large or small, WQA provides the same personal service and attention to all of its clients. Expert certification and testing staff provide one-on-one communication and continuous updates throughout the certification process.

Fast Turnaround

WQA's expert teams of specialists understand drinking water treatment products components and additives. They work personally with manufacturers' representatives on all testing and certification projects. WQA's dedicated staff works diligently to complete testing and certification so you can meet your goals and stay on schedule.


WQA is dedicated to serving the water treatment industry and primarily tests drinking water treatment products. The Water Quality Association's laboratory and certification program has been providing the industry with Gold Seal product certifications and quality assurance since 1959. WQA's focus on the water treatment industry has allowed the program to develop precise and reliable procedures.

NSF Standards and Certification

Many codes and regulations require products to meet NSF standards or more accurately the ANSI-accredited and public domain NSF/ANSI standards. People are sometimes confused to thinking that products then must "have NSF" or must have "NSF certification". This is not correct. It is important to understand the distinction between standards and certification.

Companies comply with codes and regulations specifying NSF/ANSI standards by obtaining product certifications to the cited standard(s). Compliant certifications are provided by any state or code accepted certification body or certification organization. In North America, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) are the recognized and accepted accreditation organizations. All states, USEPA, provinces, Health Canada, and codes rely on ANSI- and SCC-accreditations to determine the bona fide independent third party certifications that they will accept. All ANSI- and SCC-accredited certifiers must strictly adhere to the same stringent international standards and requirements of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for independent certification programs and testing laboratories. They must all always pass the continual and detailed audits for this compliance by ANSI and SCC to ensure product certifications are consistently accurate, complete, and without bias. All ANSI- and SCC-accredited certifiers are equivalent and equally accepted by regulators.

In addition to authoring the NSF or NSF/ANSI standards, NSF International also separately operates one of the product certification choices. There are five (5) other comparable certification programs that are equally accredited and that manufacturers have the level playing field options to choose from. Any of these can provide testing and certifications to the public domain NSF/ANSI standards. Each accredited certifier provides equivalent compliance to regulations and equivalent product assurance and acceptance for buyers.

The Water Quality Association (WQA), like other testing and certification agencies NSF International (NSF) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL), is fully accredited by ANSI and SCC. The WQA Gold Seal Program tests and certifies drinking water treatment units, drinking water system components, drinking water additives pool and spa equipment and food equipment to NSF/ANSI standards.

The Water Quality Association issues our Gold Seal Mark if the product(s) meets the testing requirements of the standard and the certified company meets WQA's Gold Seal Program policies. The Water Quality Association maintains its list of products that have been tested and certified to the NSF/ANSI standards.

NSF and UL also maintain Web sites that list the products they have tested and certified to the NSF/ANSI standards for drinking water treatment units, drinking water system components, drinking water additives and all other standards they use to certify products. If you are searching for a product that has been certified to an NSF/ANSI standard you will need to know which agency performed the certification so that you can review their web site to view the product listing(s).

The following is a list Certification agencies that are accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to perform testing and certification to the NSF/ANSI standards for drinking water treatment units, drinking water system components and drinking water treatment additives:

  • Water Quality Association (WQA)
  • NSF International (NSF)
  • Underwriter Laboratories (UL)
  • Canadian Standards Association
  • International Association of Plumbing Mechanical Officials (IAPMO)

Why Certify?

The Gold Seal Product Certification Program is solely dedicated to the certification of drinking water-related products. The Water Quality Association (WQA) is an ANSI-accredited product certifier. The Gold Seal Mark guarantees consumers and regulators that a product has been certified by an independent third-party organization.

The WQA Gold Seal Program offers the following certification options:

  • Components and additives in contact with drinking water
  • Plumbing fixtures such as, faucets, bypass valves, and pipe

Products that go through the certification program must withstand rigorous testing to eva luate the performance and integrity of the product.

  1. Materials Safety - ensures that the materials used in the product will not contribute contaminants to the drinking water.
  2. Chemical Performance - measures contaminant reduction capabilities over the life and/or capacity of the unit.
  3. Structural Integrity - ensures that the product will withstand 10 years of normal household use.
  4. Reviews - are conducted to ensure that the product literature supplied to consumers meet WQA's code of ethics, is congruent with the test results, and contains the required information outlined in the standard.

Certification can be obtained for a variety of industry standards:

Drinking Water Treatment Products

  • WQA S-100 Household, Commercial, and Portable Exchange Water Softeners
  • WQA S-200 Household and Commercial Water Filters
  • WQA S-300 Point-of-Use Low Pressure Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Systems
  • WQA S-400 Point-of-Use Distillation Drinking Water Systems
  • NSF/ANSI 42 Drinking Water Treatment Units, Aesthetic Effects
  • NSF/ANSI 44 Residential Cation Exchange Water Softeners
  • NSF/ANSI 53 Drinking Water Treatment Units, Health Effects
  • NSF/ANSI 55 Ultraviolet Microbiological Water Treatment Systems
  • NSF/ANSI 58 Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Treatment Systems
  • NSF/ANSI 62 Drinking Water Distillation Systems

Drinking Water Treatment Additives

  • NSF/ANSI 60 Drinking Water Treatment Chemicals - Health Effects
  • NSF/ANSI 61 Drinking Water System Components - Health Effects

Plumbing Fixtures

  • ASME A112.18.1 Plumbing Fixture Fittings

Did You Know?

Requirements for the sale of drinking water treatment equipment vary from state to state.

How can WQA Certification help?

California, Iowa, Massachusetts and Wisconsin have the most stringent requirements. WQA is committed to maintaining its approvals from these states. When needed, WQA can supply clients with specialized reports which will ease the application process for state product approval. Some states currently allow, and others are proposing, a simplified application process to achieve acceptance in these states for products Certified by an ANSI-Accredited Product Certifier.