NSF International published the first American National Standard for commercial and residential onsite water reuse treatment systems. NSF/ANSI 350: Onsite Residential and Commercial Reuse Treatment Systems establishes criteria to improve awareness and acceptance of water reuse technologies that reduce impacts on the environment, municipal water and wastewater treatment facilities, and energy costs. According to the American Water Works Association, 84 percent of residential water is used in non-drinking (non-potable) water applications, such as lawn irrigation, laundry and toilet flushing. According to NSF, residential and commercial builders, architects and regulators are turning to onsite wastewater reuse systems as a solution to increasing water scarcity and energy costs associated with the treatment and distribution of municipal water and wastewater.??NSF says certifying a water reuse system to NSF/ANSI 350 also satisfies requirements for leading green building programs. The U.S. Green Building Council (usgbc.org) has included reference to NSF/ANSI 350 in their LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Building Design & Construction 2012 Draft Standard. Products certified to NSF/ANSI 350 also could satisfy graywater use strategies under the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) National Green Building Certification program as an innovative practice, NSF says.

NSF developed this standard for evaluating onsite water reuse technologies to ensure the systems properly treat graywater (i.e., wastewater generated from activities such as laundry and bathing) and combined wastewater (i.e., all sources of wastewater generated within a residence or building) for reuse in non-potable applications. NSF/ANSI 350 establishes materials, design and construction, and performance requirements for onsite residential and commercial water reuse treatment systems and sets water quality requirements for the reduction of chemical and microbiological contaminants for non-potable water use. Treated wastewater (i.e., treated effluent) can be used for restricted indoor water use, such as toilet and urinal flushing, and outdoor unrestricted water use, such as lawn irrigation.

Shawnee, Kansas-based Bio-Microbics Inc., a manufacturer of clean technologies, is the first company to earn NSF/ANSI 350 certification for their Bio-Barrier membrane bioreactor (MBR). (Read more here.)

To learn more about the NSF/ANSI 350 testing and certification program, click here.