Why the NSF Symbol Matters to Your Drinking Water

By March 27, 2018 Water safety

Safe water. It’s a commodity many Americans take for granted, but unless you’re in the plumbing or construction industry, most of us have never seen or given a second thought to the hidden pipes and parts that effortlessly deliver it into our homes and businesses—we just turn on the tap and—Voila!—sparkling, clear water.

But for those of us who manufacture, sell or install rough plumbing parts and piping, providing safe methods and products for potable water delivery is an essential part of our business model—one we at Tribal take very seriously. That’s why, if you look through our catalog, you’ll see a small, blue symbol affixed to all of our potable-water parts.

That small symbol signifies an important distinction— 3rd-party certified, contaminate-free products—and one we definitely don’t take for granted. This short article breaks down this symbol—what it means in relation to our products, why it’s important for you and your customers, and why we take the extra certification measure. When you see this NSF International symbol next to our parts, you can have peace of mind that you’re buying safe, quality parts that won’t introduce harmful lead or other impurities into your clients’ drinking water. In addition to our many other industry certifications, such as ISO 9001-2015, we take great pride in exceeding industry safety and quality standards. At Tribal, quality and safety is non-negotiable.

What does NSF International stand for?

NSF stands for National Sanitation Foundation International.

What is NSF International?

National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International is an independent, not-for-profit, non-governmental, American product testing, inspection and certification organization based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

When was it established?

NSF was founded in 1944 at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health and became NSF International in 1990 when the National Sanitation Foundation and the National Sanitation Foundation Testing Laboratory merged.

Why was it established?

NSF was created to standardize food safety and sanitation requirements. Its three founders—Walter Snyder and Henry Vaughn, professors, and Nathan Sinai, a health department official—recognized the lack of national sanitation standards in the US.[1]

What are the steps to NSF certification?

While certification varies depending on product, each certification generally includes the following seven steps:

  1. Application and information submission
  2. Product evaluation
  3. Product testing in lab
  4. Manufacturing facility inspection, product confirmation and product sampling
  5. Test results review and acceptance
  6. Contract signed and products listed
  7. Annual plant inspection and retesting[2]

What are the maximum contaminant level goals (MCLGs) for lead in potable water?

Because of its high toxicity, especially to fetuses, young children and infants, the EPA determined that even low levels of lead exposure have been linked to damage to the central and peripheral nervous system, learning disabilities, shorter stature, impaired hearing and impaired formation and function of blood cells. The January 2014 Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) mandates that the maximum allowable lead content (content considered lead-free) should be a weighted average of .25 percent calculated across the wetted surface of pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings and fixtures in addition to .2 percent for solder and flux. [3]

What does the NSF International symbol mean for my customers and me?

Peace of mind. The NSF International symbol ensures that your clients are purchasing and installing products that have been rigorously tested, lead-free, safe and have met all NSF International standards. At Tribal, we don’t sell anything we don’t feel comfortable using with our own families.

Want more information about our products or the NSF certification symbol? Give us a call at 269-781-3901 or email us at info@tribalmfg.com. For more NSF certified parts, download our latest product catalog.

About Tribal Manufacturing

Tribal Manufacturing is a privately-held, ISO 9001-2015-certified American manufacturing company with ISO-certified production facilities in Marshall, Michigan and Chesnee, South Carolina.  Tribal manufactures quality straight and directional-machined brass fittings, eco brass fittings (no lead fittings), steel fittings, aluminum fittings and other metal fittings and alloy fittings for wholesale plumbing, gas, HVAC, fluid power, MRO markets as well as for other large and quality-minded OEM customers.

Tribal also innovates, manufactures and assembles patented products for sale and distribution through the same markets. Tribal holds multiple patents along with numerous certifications and approvals with NSF, UL and CSA. For more information, visit Tribalmfg.comThe Tribal Blog or connect on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

[1] http://www.company-histories.com/NSF-International-Company-History.html

[2] http://www.nsf.org/regulatory/regulator-nsf-certification

[3] https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/basic-information-about-lead-drinking-water#health