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Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services

 

 

 

 

Plumbing Products Register

Contaminant: Hardness [Ca+2 + Mg+2 (efficiency rated)]
GENERAL WATER TREATMENT DEVICE COMMENTARY

The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (Commerce), Safety and Buildings Division (S&B), Bureau of Integrated Services (BIS) has maintained product review and approval requirements for water treatment devices since 1985.  These requirements were administered by the Wisconsin Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations (DILHR) prior to July 1, 1996.  Then, the entire plumbing department was transferred to its present home within Commerce.

The primary purpose of the review and approval requirements for water treatment devices is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of Wisconsin. Presently, the review and approval requirements are limited to water treatment devices intended for installation in one- and two-family dwellings and up to two dwelling units in a multi-family dwelling such as apartments, condominiums and duplexes.  Commerce also regulates in-store, consumer self-service, bottled water vending machines and water disinfection systems used in hospitals that are not already addressed under ch. NR 809 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code (Wis. Adm. Code).  Currently, with the aforementioned exceptions, commercial/industrial water treatment devices are exempt from product review and approval.

Because the code language requiring review and approval of water treatment devices is contained within chs. 81-87 of the Wis. Adm. Code (i.e. the plumbing code), specifically s. Comm 84.10, devices that are not attached to a plumbing system in any way are also exempt from product review and approval.  Examples of such devices are carafe type pour-through filters, backpacking filters and batch distillation devices.

With the exceptions noted above, residential water treatment devices, in-store consumer self-service bottled water vending machines and water disinfection systems used in hospitals that are not addressed under NR 809, must be reviewed and approved by this department before the devices can be legally sold, offered for sale or installed in Wisconsin.  Typically, this is the responsibility of the manufacturer, distributor, dealer, seller or installer; not the consumer’s.  Violations of Comm 84.10 are subject to fines and penalties under State Statute 145.132.  Violations of Section 145.132 may be subject to fines of not less than $10 and not more than $1,000 for each violation.  Each violation constitutes a separate offense, and each day of continued violation is a separate offense.

Water treatment device reviews are concentrated in three main areas:

  1. All wetted (i.e. water contacting) materials of construction are documented as being safe for contact with potable water (i.e. is not imparting any undesirable substances to the treated water);
  2. All performance claims are verified by collecting reproducible scientific evidence to support the claims.  Claims range from structural integrity to contaminant reduction; and
  3. All product literature, labeling and promotional materials are reviewed to assure they contain accurate statements of performance, and contain sufficient information so the device can be installed and maintained correctly.

Here is a good link to help get you started with selecting the proper type of water treatment device for the on site conditions where you live:

http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/water/dwg/private/symptoms.htm

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