What is the new labeling regulation for water purifiers?


China: Water Purifiers Now Must Include Purification Efficiency Label

To put it simply, water purifiers shipped from July 1, 2022, must include the water purification efficiency label. What does the label include?

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay


According to the “Water Efficiency Labeling Management Measures” and the “National Water Conservation Action Plan”, The National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Water Resources, and the State Administration of Market Supervision jointly issued the “Water Purifier Efficiency Labeling Implementation Rules”, which means that the water purifiers shipped from July 1, 2022, must include the water purification efficiency label.


Therefore, starting from July 1st next year, when buying a water purifier, first check the label that indicates the product quality.


Although China introduced the first national mandatory efficiency standard for the water purifier industry as early as 2018, it applied only to water purifiers that use reverse osmosis technology. There were 5 efficiency levels at that time, and the requirements were relatively low. Products with a water purification rate of less than 35% were still allowed to be produced and sold.


So to what type of products do the new regulation apply, and what does the quality label entail?


The new labeling regulation applies to municipal tap water and water from other centralized water supply sources, such as raw water, with reverse osmosis membrane or nanofiltration membrane as the main purification element, and it also applies to smaller water purifiers for households. The main information indicated on the water purification efficiency label includes the manufacturer, product specifications, water efficiency grade, water purification rate, and rated total water purification volume, to name a few. The water efficiency grade of the water purifier is determined according to the national standard "Limited Value and Water Efficiency Grade of Water Purifier" (GB34914-2021).


The "Water Purifier Market Development Status Survey and Supply and Demand Pattern Analysis and Forecast Report 2021-2026" published by China Research and Puhua has revealed that the current water purifiers on the market, with a water purification rate of less than 45%, account for about 38% of the market share, and products with a water purification rate of 45%-55% account for 42% of the market share. The products with a water purification rate of 65% and higher account for 8% of the market share.


So what is the current situation in the market in regards to water purification efficiency? Of the “wastewater” that is a byproduct of the water purifier, 60-70% is directly discharged into the sewer pipe, which creates a huge waste of water resources. The so-called “wastewater” should be called concentrated water. It is water that is concentrated by increasing the salt content after the water purifier treatment. However, because its salt content is higher than that of unfiltered tap water, it is generally not used as direct drinking water.


Moreover, the filter that is used in nanofiltration water purifiers and reverse osmosis water purifiers are also non-renewable and must be replaced regularly. The shelf life of a filter in a water purifier is related to its rated total water purification. The higher the rated total water purification, the longer the shelf life of a filter. Conversely, lower-rated total water purification will require more frequent filter replacement, which results in a waste of raw materials.


"Water efficiency" refers to the utilization efficiency of water resources, which is the ratio of the amount of clean water obtained to the total amount of water resources consumed. Reporters surveyed the market and found that water purifier manufacturers generally compare the ratio of purified water to "wastewater" (concentrated water). For example, the so-called "clean- wastewater ratio 1:1" means that the water purification mechanism takes a portion of purified water to produce an equal amount of “wastewater”.


So will the introduction of the new water purification efficiency standards in July 2022 lead to shifts in the water purification market next year? The implementation of the water purification efficiency standard will certainly bring a new round of development opportunities for the water purifier industry, especially for nanofiltration companies. The “standard” could create market competition in terms of better products and services, and motivate companies to put more focus on product development.