Residential Water Treatment Devices
Last Update: March 3, 2014
Assembly Bill 119, which was signed into law (http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_0101-0150/ab_119_bill_20130916_enrolled.pdf), made significant changes to CDPH's Water Treatment Device Program. Its major provisions became effective January 1, 2014.
Residential Water Treatment Devices
If you are thinking of buying a home water treatment device, you are probably concerned about your drinking water. Some common concerns are:
- The appearance or taste of the water such as the odor of chlorine or the taste of high minerals.
- Worries about a specific contaminant that might be in the water.
- A family member may be vulnerable to illness due to a weakened immune system or other factor.
- Excessive staining or deposits on your plumbing.
Whatever the reason, you want to be sure that the device you are using will meet your needs. You want to be sure that the device will reduce contaminants as stated on the packaging or advertisements.
The goal of the State of California Water Treatment Device registration program is to ensure that Devices sold in California have been independently evaluated and tested to reduce ‘health-related’ contaminants as claimed by the packaging. Health related contaminants include:
- Bacteria, virus and cysts
- Organic chemicals (such as by-products of chlorination)
Here is the current listing of devices registered for sale in California, including those with valid California certificates as of December 31, 2013: Registered Water Treatment Devices, Preliminary Listing for 2014, as of February 3, 2014 (PDF).
What does California Registration mean?
CDPH registration means that devices sold in California that make health-related claims have been certified by an independent, accredited certification organization. This certification includes extensive water quality testing in accordance with national standards. Accreditation means that the organization and their testing laboratory have the proper ability, personnel and equipment to fully evaluate these devices.
Manufacturers that wish to have their devices registered for sale in California must provide proof of the independent certification and other information on each device. The California Registration program is designed to verify this certification and ensure that literature provided with each model adequately informs the customer. The Registration program monitors the marketplace for illegal sales of devices as well as misleading advertisement for ANY water treatment device.
These independent certification organizations include NSF and WQA. The websites of both of these organizations provide helpful information on choosing a home water treatment device.
Private Well Supplies
If your water comes from a private well (serving just your home, typically), you (or the property owner) will need to make testing arrangements of the well water on your own. There may be some testing data available in county environmental health department files but usually not. Here are some resources regarding private wells that may be helpful.
Your local County Environmental Health Department may be able to help you to understand test results. They may also have information on protecting your well from contamination.
Information for Manufacturers
For More Information
For more information about residential water treatment devices, contact us at:
California Department of Public Health
Drinking Water Program
Drinking Water Treatment Device Registration Unit
P.O. Box 997377, MS 7417
Sacramento, CA 95899-7377
(916) 449-5600 (phone)
(916) 449-5656 (fax)