Federal: In contrast to bottled water, there are no federal regulations regarding the design or effectiveness of water treatment filters.
State: State regulations are not intended to provide a guarantee that the final filtered water will meet all EPA safe drinking water act requirements.
Water Filter Regulations
A water filter can be defined as any device which reduces impurities from a water supply.
Regulations/Standards/Testing Frequencies/Compliance & Enforcement
State: Four of the 50 U.S. states (California, Iowa, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin) have regulations. The frequency of testing varies. Compliance enforced through annual requirements to renew certifications/licenses.
In contrast to water filters, there is protection guarantees for bottled water. Each unit of bottled water product manufactured, sold, or distributed within the United States is required to be in compliance with the labeling and the bottled water standards of quality.
Bottled Water Regulations
Bottled water is defined by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as “water intended for human consumption that is sealed in bottles or other containers with no added ingredients except that it may optionally contain safe and suitable antimicrobial agents.” All products meeting the definition for bottled water can be labeled as such.
The FDA has created additional identities. These terms distinguish types of bottled water based upon the source. These additional standards of identity can be used in lieu of the term “bottled water”, i.e. spring water, distilled water, reverse osmosis water.
Federal: The FDA regulates bottled water as a packaged food product. FDA regulations that must be met for food products include requirements regarding naming, good manufacturing practices (GMPs), labeling and quality.
State: All states regulate bottled water. The FDA relies on the states to approve bottled water sources. In addition to this source approval jurisdiction, states have established and enforce their own rules and regulations regarding bottled water.
All 50 U.S. states regulate bottled water produced within their state.
Federal: The FDA has established allowable levels for contaminants in bottled water. By law FDA standards for bottled water must be as stringent and protective of public health as U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards for public water supplies.
State: Several states have regulations which require bottled water to be analyzed for and demonstrate compliance with the additional contaminants not regulated by FDA as listed in the states’ safe drinking water act.
Federal: The FDA outlines the minimum sampling and testing required of source water and final product for the microbiological, chemical and radiological contaminants standards of quality.
The FDA requires that product samples are to be taken and analyzed by the plant “as often as necessary, but at a minimum frequency of” once each week for microbiological contaminants and once each year for chemical and radiological contaminants. This testing must be performed at the frequency specified by FDA. FDA does not allow for waivers or exemptions from this testing.
Federal: FDA is responsible for verification of compliance.
State: States are responsible for enforcing state bottled water regulations.