Being a health-conscious society, we want to know what goes into our food, water, and products. More people today are choosing safe or chemical-free products; however, high levels of toxins and harsh chemicals are still present in many garden water hoses today. The harsh chemicals found in common PVC and vinyl garden hoses include lead, phthalates, bromine (BPA), and antimony.
Standard 61 Certification
The term "Drinking-Water-Safe" typically refers to the NSF/ANSI Standard 61 (NSF-61), a set of national standards relating to water treatment. It establishes stringent requirements for equipment that comes in contact with potable (drinking) water or products used in potable water production. However, there is no NSF standard for a garden hose under which a manufacturer can get certified because the Safe Drinking Water Act exempted garden hose and other outdoor watering products from the prohibitions.
The 2011 Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act (RLDWA) also created exemptions in SDWA Section 1417 from the prohibitions on the use or introduction into commerce of “pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings or fixtures, including backflow preventers, that are used exclusively for non-potable services such as manufacturing, industrial processing, irrigation, outdoor watering, or any other uses where the water is not anticipated to be used for human consumption” (SDWA 1417(a)(4)(A))
As such, if a watering product is for non-potable, outdoor use, it cannot be certified under NSF 61 for drinking water. The manufacturer can only say the materials have been certified. Unfortunately, most garden hose reels on the market today ARE NOT produced with inlet hoses that are made from drinking-water-safe material. ELEY inlet hoses ARE. Our hose reel inlet hose is made from UV-stabilized FDA and NSF grade polyurethane material. Combine that with our crush-proof, lead-free machined brass fittings, and the ELEY inlet hose is a 100% drinking-water-safe garden hose. Even the rubber gaskets are made from drinking-water safe material.