The American National Standard for drinking water system components, NSF/ANSI 61, has been updated with Canadian requirements and designated as a National Standard of Canada by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).

The standard has been renamed NSF/ANSI/CAN 61: Drinking Water System Components–Health Effects.

NSF International’s standards group facilitated development of this consensus standard by a balanced committee of stakeholders representing both U.S. and Canadian public health officials, regulators, industry, product certifiers and various user groups.

While the standard was only recently designated as a National Standard of Canada, the previously published versions have been widely recognized in Canada for years. Eleven of 13 provinces/territories require drinking water system components to comply with the requirements of NSF/ANSI 61 for either well components or municipal systems. Canadian standards for drinking water components currently reference NSF/ANSI 61.


NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 in future plumbing codes

There is also a proposal, which is expected to be sent out for public comment late in 2019, at the U.S. National Plumbing Code level to require NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 as a potential addition to the 2020 National Plumbing Code. The proposal is being considered because while some product standards referenced in the plumbing code require NSF/ANSI 61, not all do. In addition, not all products installed have product standards in the code. This leaves a gap in the requirements for health effects in the code. Reference to the NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 would close this gap and ensure protection for all drinking water system components. 

In most cases, NSF-certified products are still going to be marked with NSFpw or NSF-61. Manufacturers do have the option to change the marking to NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 when used in conjunction with the NSF circular mark. It is anticipated that other certification agencies will also change to the NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 marking. 

Most certification agencies do not authorize a “c” or Canadian identifier when certifying products only to NSF/ANSI/CAN 61. Since most plumbing products also are required by code to meet other performance standards, most certifiers only permit the “c” or Canadian marking when products are dual-listed to a Canadian performance standard such as the B137 series (plastic piping systems) or the CSA B125 series (harmonized with ASME).


About NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 certification

Forty-eight U.S. states currently have some form of legislation, regulation or policy that requires drinking water system components to comply with, or be certified to, this standard. This is in addition to the 11 Canadian provinces/territories requiring compliance to NSF/ANSI/CAN 61. Certification meets the regulatory requirements for both countries. Certifying to the standard can also fulfill testing requirements in other nations.

NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 sets health effects criteria for many water system components used in centralized water treatment plants and water distribution systems. From gaskets and fittings to potable water storage tanks, the components the standard covers include:

  • Protective barrier materials;
  • Joining and sealing materials;
  • Mechanical devices;
  • Pipes and related products;
  • Plumbing devices;
  • Process media; and
  • Non-metallic potable water materials.

Compliance to NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 applies to any company that manufactures, sells or distributes treatment or distribution products in North America. Certification goes the extra step of verifying that a product meets standard requirements based on audits and tests done by an independent, third-party organization. These listings satisfy the criteria of the National Plumbing Code of Canada and all U.S. model plumbing codes.