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Water Filtration Standards

Updated on January 9, 2018
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Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of 2, and a published sci-fi and horror author.


Water filters remove pollutants, chemicals, debris, rocks and water-borne pathogens.

Water filtration standards have been created to create standard ways of measuring the presence of water borne diseases, toxins and chemicals. Water filtration standards also ensure that filters will create safe drinking water for human use or release back into the water shed.

Clean water is primarily the result of water treatment and water filtration, not natural processes.
Clean water is primarily the result of water treatment and water filtration, not natural processes. | Source

ANSI Standards for Water Filtration and Water Treatment

The American Water Works Association or AWWA standard C653 is the ANSI approved standard for disinfecting water treatment plants.

AWWA B100 is the ANSI standard for the granulated filter material. AWWA B604 is specific to granular activated carbon used in water treatment and filtration. AWWA B101 is the standard for the pre-coat filter media.

UL 1081, a Underwriters Laboratories standard, is the ANSI approved standard for swimming pool pumps and filters.

NSF 53 is the ANSI approved standard for the health effects of using drinking water treatment units. NSF 53 sets minimum requirements for the design, construction and performance of drinking water treatment systems whether intended for public facilities like hospitals or private homes.

ASTM Standards for Water Filtering and Sampling

ASTM D4188 gives the process of sampling water and measuring the water formed deposits via a filtration test. ASTM D5392 outlines the method of separating and counting Escherichia Coli in water samples using a two step filtration process. ASTM D5259 describes how Enterococci are separate from water using a membrane filter for enumeration.

ASTM D3863 describes the retention characteristics of 0.40 to 0.45-μm membrane water filters used for filtering water to determine how many microbes are present in it.

ISO Standards for Water Filters

Many pathogens are detected by running water samples through membrane water filters. ISO 16266 is the method of detecting the water-borne pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa by running water through a membrane filter. ISO 7889 is the process of using membrane filters to find and count intestinal enterococci, a water borne illness.

ISO 11731 is the process of using direct membrane filtration to detect legionella bacteria. ISO 6461 is the process of using membrane filters to find clostridia, a sulfite-reducing organism. ISO 9308 is the standard method of detecting coliform bacteria using membrane filtration.

ISO 11923 is the process of measuring the suspended solids in water by filtering them through glass fiber filters.

ISO 7704 gives the approved method of evaluating water quality membrane filters that are used for microbiological analyses.

European Water Filtration Standards

BSI BS EN 872 is the British method of determining the suspended solids in water using a glass fiber filter.

UNI 10249 is the Italian standard for measuring the water filtration time of filter paper by the Herzberg method.

BSI BS 8427 is the standard for jug water filters. This standard was issued in 2004 and reaffirmed in 2010.

AENOR is the Spanish standards institute. Most of their water filtration standards come from the ISO. DIN, the German standards organization, typically adopts ISO standards. In these cases, they'll be referred to as DIN EN ISO for the German standard, English language version of the ISO standard.

CEN EN 15798 is the European Committee for Standardization standard for granular, activated carbon, silica gravel and calcium carbonate used to filter pool water. BSI BS EN 15798 is the British version of this standard. DIN 19645 is the German standard for treating water that has backwashed from the pool.

DIN 19628 is the German standard for mechanical filters used in facilities that purify drinking water. CEN 13443-2 covers mechanical filters that block particles 1 μm to less than 80 μm. Part 1 addresses filters made for particles with ratings from 80 μm to 150 μm.
CEN EN 14898 is the standard for the active media filters used in water conditioning equipment, such as water softeners. The German version is DIN EN 14989. These standards give the performance requirements, safety standards and approved test methods for these filters.

DIN 19624 is the German standard for pre-coated filters used in water treatment. DIN 19605 outlines the approved structure and components for fixed bed filters used in large scale water treatment.

Military Specifications for Water Filters

MIL-S-52333 gives the military specification for the filter element used in water purification units.
MIL-W-0052027 is the military specification for large scale water purification units via diatomite filters and erdalator clarifiers to treat 3,000 gallons per hour.

MIL-C-17605 is the military standard for activated charcoal routinely used in water filters.

Military standards for water filters are still referenced in a variety of purchasing regulations, but field equipment is more often manufactured per ISO and ASTM standards than milspec.


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