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On World Water Day, Standards Keep Things Flowing

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is proud to recognize the international observance of World Water Day on March 22, 2013. Created by the United Nations in 1992, World Water Day is held annually to focus global attention on the importance of water and to advocate for the sustainable management of water resources. This year's celebration is focused on cooperation related to water issues, in recognition of the designation of 2013 as International Year of Water Cooperation by the U.N.

Because of the scarcity of clean water for drinking and bathing in many areas of the world, effective water filtering, routing, and management plays an essential role in supporting good health, bolstering economic development, and reducing some of the impact of chronic poverty. As part of their role in the worldwide standardization system, ANSI, its standards developing organization (SDO) members, and international partners have been active in supporting standards that advance this important cause.

The American Water Works Association, an ANSI member and accredited standards developer, has developed an American National Standard (ANS) intended to assist in the effective operation of water treatment plants. ANSI/AWWA G100-2011, Water Treatment Plant Operation and Management, describes critical requirements related to the operation of water treatment plants, with particular focus on facilities maintenance, systems management, and the maintaining of water quality. The standard is designed to be usable for water treatment plant accreditation purposes.

A standard developed by ASTM International, an ANSI member and audited designator, provides guidelines for reporting results of laboratory analysis of different types of water, including drinking water, ground water, and wastewater, making it easier for end users to understand the relevant results. ASTM D596-01(2011), Standard Guide for Reporting Results of Analysis of Water, covers guidelines for reporting water analysis results, but does not address the reporting of radiological or bacterial data from the tested water.

NSF/ANSI 58-2012, Reverse osmosis drinking water treatment systems, an ANS developed by ANSI member and audited designator NSF International, sets down guidelines on the use of reverse osmosis to effectively treat drinking water. The standard addresses point-of-use systems designed for the reduction of substances that may be present in drinking water supplies. Reverse osmosis water filtration uses a selective membrane to separate larger molecules and ions, including heavier elements and other containments, from the liquid passing through the membrane.

International Standards are also in place to support the availability of clean water across the globe. Many have been developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), whose guidelines provide assistance to groups working on water-related projects in countries around the world. One such standard, ISO 21004:2006, Plastics piping systems - Multilayer pipes and their joints, based on thermoplastics, for water supply, specifies a set of general and performance requirements for thermoplastic-based multilayer pipes used for water supply outside of buildings, as well as for above-ground water supplies and buried water mains. The standard is applicable for use in piping systems used for cold drinking water and for heated water used for general purposes. It was developed by ISO Technical Committee (TC) 138, Plastics pipes, fittings and valves for the transport of fluids, subcommittee (SC) 2, Plastics pipes and fittings for water supplies. ASTM International serves as the ANSI-approved U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administrator to both TC 138 and SC2.

Standards on water-related topics are just one part of the larger effort to support clean drinking and bathing water around the world. Another important element is conformity assessment, including testing, inspection, certification, and accreditation connected to water projects and initiatives. Several ANSI-accredited certification bodies (CBs) are active in assessing compliance to water quality standards, including ICC Evaluation Services, CSA International, IAPMO R&T, NSF International, Underwriters Laboratories, and the Water Quality Association. To learn more about the scopes of accreditation for these bodies, take a look at ANSI's accreditation directory for the Product Certification Accreditation Program, or visit

For more information about World Water Day 2013, visit the celebration's official site.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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