Volume 44 Number 4
Chlorine, Chloramine and Chlorine Dioxide Regulations in California
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The state of California requires residential water treatment devices that make a health or safety claim to be certified prior to being sold in the state. There are some key words in the previous sentence.
One of the words is residential. Devices such as pour-through pitchers, countertop, undercounter filters, reverse osmosis (RO) systems, water softeners and the like are considered to be residential devices. California doesn’t require certification of commercial water treatment devices or non-residential devices such as camping equipment.
Another important word is certification. To obtain California certification, the device must be tested by a “California-approved, independent” laboratory using a pre-approved protocol for a health or safety claim. For filter-type applications, this would mean that the device would need to be tested to 200 percent of claimed capacity or 120 percent of claimed capacity if some type of performance indicator, like a gallon counter, was used in accordance with ANSI/NSF Standard 53: Drinking Water Treatment Units (DWTUs) -- Health Effects.
The words health or safety claim are also significant. Health or safety claims have a broad definition in California. A health or safety claim means any claim that a water treatment device or treatment component will remove or reduce a contaminant that has:
Aesthetic or health claim?
Because maximum allowable concentrations of chlorine, chloramines and chlorine dioxide are now regulated, California has advised that unqualified claims of chlorine reduction will be considered to be a health or safety claim (see WC&P, March 2002, “Newsreel”). California first alerted manufacturers, who had devices certified by the state for other health or safety claims, in December 2000 that devices that also made claims for the reduction of chlorine, chloramines or chlorine dioxide must be certified for those particular claims by Jan. 1. In March 2001, California advised manufacturers of certified devices or devices pending certification that advertising not clearly identifying chlorine, chloramine or chlorine dioxide claims as aesthetic would require certification.
Change or certify
California may accept other wording variations. As yet, it hasn’t specified influent concentrations or pass/fail criteria for unqualified chlorine, chloramines or chlorine dioxide claims. To discuss acceptable wording variations or testing requirements, contact the California Department of Health Services [Lynda Dyane at (916) 449-5617 or ldyane@dhs. ca.gov; or Terry Macaulay at (916) 449-5630 or firstname.lastname@example.org)]. Review other matters such as labeling, websites, manuals, demo tapes, performance data sheets, advertising literature, etc., and change those claims or prepare to certify residential devices that make chlorine, chloramines or chlorine dioxide claims in California (see Newsreel this issue).
If an RO system makes a claim for arsenic reduction, the manufacturer must include the following statements in certain documents: “This system shall only be used for arsenic reduction on chlorinated water supplies containing detectable residual free chlorine at the system inlet. Water systems using an in-line chlorinator should provide a one-minute chlorine contact time before the RO system.” California wouldn’t require this statement to say aesthetic chlorine because the manufacturer isn’t making a chlorine reduction claim.
If an RO system filter carries a claim for chlorine reduction under ANSI/NSF Standard 42: DWTUs -- Aesthetic Effects, then the same rules required for filters making chlorine, chloramine and chlorine dioxide claims would apply to the RO system.
Chlorinating private wells
Check the wording
If the device is certified by an organization such as NSF International, Underwriters Laboratories, or the Water Quality Association for chlorine, chlora-mine, or taste and odor reduction, be sure to check with that organization before changing any language required by their policies.
The state of Iowa doesn’t require registration for claims that a device can reduce chlorine, chloramines or chlorine dioxide as long as the manufacturer doesn’t use the word contaminant when referring to chlorine, chloramine or chlorine dioxide.
On the other hand, the state of Wisconsin requires registration for devices connected to the plumbing system that also claim to reduce chlorine, chloramines or chlorine dioxide whether the word aesthetic is included in advertised statements or not. Wisconsin advises that chlorine or chloramine reduction claims be supported by testing in accordance with ANSI/NSF 42 or other protocols accepted by the state.
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