What is NSF-61?

NSF-61 is a set of regulations that covers products that come in contact with drinking water in the USA including pipes, hoses, fittings, gaskets, adhesives, coatings, lubricants, faucets, drinking fountains, filters, water meters, valves, filters, and more.

Basically, if it comes in contact with potable water, NSF-61 verifies that it is safe.

Why is this important? Flint, MI provides a cautionary tale of what can happen when unsafe products come in contact with drinking water.

 

Are you compliant?

 

An Unsafe Drinking Water Catastrophe

In 2014, Flint changed its water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River. Insufficient water treatment caused lead from old and unsafe water pipes to leach into the water delivered to local homes and businesses. The lead pipes in Flint were installed many years before water-safety regulations restricted their use, but the problems didn’t affect citizens until the water source and water treatment changes. Current estimates for fixing these problems range as high as $1,500,000,000.

NSF-61 helps prevent such disasters by ensuring that all components of the water system are certified safe for contact with potable water, preserving the quality and safety of drinking water.

NSF-61 Certification: Good For Water Systems, Good For Citizens

NSF-61 certification has broad benefits for both water systems and consumers. Residents can have peace of mind that the water coming out of their tap is safe to drink.

These regulations are also good for water systems. NSF-61 provides a universally accepted, 3rd-party verification that the pipes, gaskets, and meters utilized for water delivery are drinking water safe. This minimizes the liability faced by water systems and decreases the likelihood of costly repairs and updates in the future. NSF-61 certified components can cost a little more on the front end, but water systems recoup this investment by eliminating the need to dig up pipe to repair or replace sub-standard and unsafe components.

Implementation Varies by State

While NSF-61 is a nationwide certification, implementation can vary from state to state. For example, Alabama recently expanded its NSF-61 requirements to include all gaskets, including water meter gaskets. This bridged a critical gap in coverage that could have allowed unsafe gaskets to leach chemicals into the water delivered to homes.

Visit our NSF-61 interactive map to find out more about implementation in your state.
NSF-61 guidelines provide a standard that can be used for all water system components nationwide, even in areas where certification is not required. Water system engineers and managers can avoid costly repairs and uncomfortable questions by utilizing the NSF-61 framework to guide purchasing decisions. This provides a 3rd party verification that best practices were followed, certifying that the water system did all that it could to protect its citizens.

Certification vs. Compliance

NSF-61 Certification is expensive for manufacturers. Some manufacturers choose to claim “NSF-61 compliance” rather than “NSF-61 certification”. This means that they are claiming to follow NSF-61 practices without submitting to the 3rd party certification. Many water systems don’t know the difference, causing them to purchase products that lack the 3rd party verification that is so helpful when questions arise.

How can you tell the difference? Look for the NSF logo or specific NSF markings on any products utilized by your water system.

Which Products are Certified?

It is important to note that some manufacturers certify a few of their products rather than all of them. This allows them to talk boldly about NSF-61 certification in its materials. The problem is that products are NSF-61 certified, not companies. EVERY PRODUCT must be submitted for NSF-61 certification.

Be careful to check the NSF-61 status of every individual part that comes in contact with drinking water to avoid deceptive descriptions from manufacturers and protect your water system from future consumer questions.

Gaskets from Alabama

Specification Rubber Products manufactures gaskets in Alabaster, AL. All of our products are 100% NSF-61 compliant and 100% made in the USA. Would you like to find out more about how NSF-61 affects your water system? Contact us today at 1-800-633-3415!

 

Get compliant

 

Alabama Takes a Key Step to Make Drinking Water Safer

The State of Alabama has taken a key step in helping to ensure safer drinking water for its citizens. The Alabama Department of Environmental Management has passed a regulation that requires NSF-61 certified gaskets for all gaskets that contact potable water including meter gaskets. This means that all components of water systems in Alabama are now required to be NSF-61 certified.

 

Are you compliant?

NSF-61

NSF/ANSI Standard 61 affects businesses in the United States that manufacture products that come in contact with drinking water. This standard was developed by a team of scientists and industry experts to set health effects for infrastructure that comes in contact with drinking water. 

 

Why is NSF-61 so important? Gaskets manufactured using cheap and unsafe materials can release chemicals into the water that we consume. With drinking water catastrophes like the one in Flint, MI, regulators and industry experts are implementing measures to make drinking water safe nationwide. NSF-61 is a critical component of this strategy to make sure that more citizens are not exposed to dangerous toxins as they were in Flint. 

 

While this is a nationwide regulation, implementation can vary from state to state.   

 

Alabama’s New Regulation

Alabama has had NSF-61 regulations in place for years. These regulations have focused primarily on buried pipe. This left a critical component, gaskets at the meter and flanged pipe, unregulated even though these gaskets come in direct contact with drinking water. ADEM’s new regulation ensures that all gaskets from the water treatment facility to homes and businesses are water safe. Along with regulations that govern pipe in the ground, the new regulations close the loop on securing Alabama’s drinking water supply.

 

100% NSF-61 Certified and Made in America

Specification Rubber Products has thrived because we are the only gasket manufacturer that is 100% certified NSF-61 compliant and 100% made in America. We have manufactured gaskets at our facility in Alabaster, AL since 1968. Spec Rubber is unique among gasket manufacturers in that we have survived increasing competition by focusing on quality rather than importing cheap gaskets from Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries. Many gasket companies claim to be “NSF-61 compliant”, but they forego the costly certification process. Spec Rubber certifies all gaskets so that water system managers can rest assured that gasket problems will not lead to water system issues affecting their customers and local citizens. 

 

Get compliant

 

Would you like to find out more about how Alabama’s new regulations affect your water system?

Contact us today for more information about these important changes.

Celebrating our Nation this Independence Day

Independence. The word by itself fuels an immense variety of meanings. As teenagers, we dream of doing everything without anyone’s input. As matriarchs, we dream of doing everything without the need for physical assistance. Students of all ages seek out independent learning. You can find independent contractors. Many churches identify themselves as being independent. The word independence has many faces. But our nation’s independence, the day on which America was officially born in 1776, should draw a similar picture for all of us.

 

243 years later, any American who can tell the story of our independence from experience or heard the story from a relative who lived it first-hand has long since passed. Everything we know is handed down to us in history books and through internet searches. That can make July 4, 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 delegates to the Continental Congress, feel like a distant story instead of what it truly is. To have men and women who could tell stories of what life was like before, after and during the fight for our independence would be absolutely fascinating.

 

We will never have the privilege of shaking the men’s hands who had any part in our initial freedom. We can’t thank them or their families. But we can celebrate the 4th of July in a way that honors them. For example, by making sure our children understand the history of our nation and how we had to fight to be free…and still do. In the Birmingham area, you can take them to places like American Village where learning about our history literally comes alive. Stone Mountain Park just outside of Atlanta celebrates the 4th with special events all day and a spectacular laser show followed by captivating patriotic fireworks to leave your kids in awe, giving you the perfect opportunity to explain why the celebration is so big. Or it can be as simple as talking positively about our nation while enjoying juicy hamburgers and writing names in the dark with sparklers. 

 

However your family celebrates, remember independence. Remember the courageous battles you read about. Remember the determination and hope these men clung to as they refused a different outcome to their efforts. Remember the wise men who put so much thought into the wording and elegance of our Declaration of Independence. Remember that we, as a nation, are blessed. We are free.

 

Our family at Specification Rubber Products wishes you a very happy 4th of July celebration.

Happy Father’s Day from Specification Rubber Products

There are many words we can use to describe Fathers. Strong. Wise. Humble. Gentle. Harsh.

Quiet. Loud. Whether he influenced you with his love for sports, art, the outdoors or books, he

left some type of unforgettable mark on your life. Many people have mixed feelings about their

dads. That’s ok. Our fathers were all boys once and had to learn, adjust, and grow just like the

rest of us. They had a father they learned from – or maybe they didn’t. Whatever their

background, they did the best they could just as we have done.

 

All fathers out there know what it’s like to carry the title “head of the household.” It is a precious

gift, a heavy responsibility, and a difficult task. Today we want to say thank you.

 

Thank you for being committed to providing for us. Thank you for making tough decisions that

only you could make. Thank you for doing whatever it took to provide things you wanted us to

have. Thank you for the family vacations and time spent teaching us how to do things around

the house. Thank you for cheering the loudest at our games. Thank you for putting the fear of

God in us to keep us from making bad choices. Thank you for meaningful talks and loving us

with all your heart.

 

If you know your dad did his best and you appreciate his efforts, tell him today how much he

means to you, that you respect how he gave his all, and that you love him. Fathers don’t have

an easy role. Let’s do our best to honor them as they have done their best to honor the role they

were given when you were born.

 

Happy Father’s Day.

 

We honor the memory of the fallen this Memorial Day

The sacrifice that our men and women make when they choose to serve our country is priceless. The extreme conditions these brave men and women endure, the intense physical strain, the weight of emotional hardships and the aftermath for the families when their loved one is lost, are risks they knowingly take for all of us and a sacrifice we can only accept with gratitude.

Memorial Day falls on the last Monday of May each year and is the day we honor those who died serving our country. Many of us will visit cemeteries or memorials, hold a family gathering and participate in parades. At 3:00 pm local time, our nation will observe a moment of remembrance.

Each man and woman who has fallen while serving and protecting us is indeed a hero. They are the ones who have made this nation great. They are the reason we have the freedom to work where we wish, observe our choice of religion, purchase and live on our own land, and enjoy time away from obligations with our families. These freedoms we take for granted don’t exist in many areas of the world, while we can’t imagine life without them.

This Memorial Day, Specification Rubber Products honors the countless men and women who have died while serving our country.

Freedom Is Not Free by Kelly Strong

I watched the flag pass by one day.                                     

It fluttered in the breeze.

A young Marine saluted it,

And then he stood at ease.

 

I looked at him in uniform 

So young, so tall, so proud,

With hair cut square and eyes alert

He’d stand out in any crowd.

 

I thought how many men like him

Had fallen through the years.

How many died on foreign soil?

How many mothers’ tears?

 

How many pilots’ planes shot down?

How many died at sea?

How many foxholes were soldiers’ graves?

No, freedom isn’t free.

 

I heard the sound of TAPS one night,

When everything was still

I listened to the bugler play

And felt a sudden chill.

 

I wondered just how many times

That TAPS had meant “Amen,”

When a flag had draped a coffin

Of a brother or a friend.

 

I thought of all the children,

Of the mothers and the wives,

Of fathers, sons and husbands

With interrupted lives.

 

I thought about a graveyard

At the bottom of the sea

Of unmarked graves in Arlington.

No, freedom isn’t free.

Happy Mother’s Day from Specification Rubber Products

 

 

We take one day a year to honor the woman who devotes 365 days a year to us. The title “Mom” holds incredible meaning. None of us could ever recount all the time, tears, prayers, sacrifice, worries, sweat, tough decision-making, guidance and finances she has spent on us. We probably aren’t aware of half the things she has done for us. You can make that one day a year significant by choosing to honor her on Mother’s Day.   

If you are a mom, you know that a sincere thank you every now and then goes a long way. You don’t do it for recognition or glory, but out of sacrificial and unconditional love. If we need you, you find a way to show up and help. Sometimes, that looks like going against what we think should happen. Your wisdom outweighs our own and you’re willing to guide us down the best path, even if it costs you. Thank you for putting our best ahead of your popularity with us and others. You risk so much of yourself to be what we need. How do we thank you for something like that?

Maybe gratitude presents itself in how you parent your own children. Take the good you have learned from your mother and love your children that way. Accept she isn’t perfect – with grace – and learn from her mistakes. Call her and ask for advice when you’re stuck on what to do with your own kids. Call her just to talk. Let her know she is just as important today as when she was on the frontline of your life. Once you step into the background as you emerge into adulthood, don’t let it be the end of her influence. Let her influence far outlive her. She is Mom.

Our family at Specification Rubber Products wishes you a very fulfilling and blessed Mother’s Day.

Safety and Manufacturer of the Year Honors

 

 

When you are recognized publicly for a job well done or any accomplishment, it makes all the hard work worth it. On May 1, 2019, we accepted an award presented to us by the Business Council of Alabama and the Alabama Technology Network as one of Alabama’s Safest Manufacturers. We were also one of the finalists for Manufacturer of the Year. Both of these are high honors that we accept with gratitude.

Being in business since 1968, we have been blessed with strong leadership and hardworking employees. Our entire Specification Rubber Products family is always working together to produce not only the best products but to create a workplace that thrives with positivity and unity. Each employee is important. Everyone does his or her part in making us what we are as a company. We are more than just a well-oiled machine, we are a family of people who come together to fulfill a mission.

 

We want to thank all our Specification Rubber Products’ associates for coming in each day ready to work and doing their very best. We appreciate each and every one of you. We won this award together and we will celebrate it together. Thank you!

Read the full article here: https://news.american-usa.com/2019/05/03/specification-rubber-named-one-of-alabamas-safest-manufacturers/

Happy Easter from Specification Rubber Products

Spring is in full bloom. Trees are unfurling new leaves, bees are buzzing about, the smell of
freshly cut grass hits your nostrils as the sound of lawnmowers fills the neighborhood, kids are
practically begging to wash the car so they can play in the water, the birds are up before you are
and pastel colors are filling the stores.

Easter may be the most popular of the spring holidays. Churches will have more of their seats
filled. Baskets will be full of colorful eggs and chocolate bunnies. Little girls will be comparing
beautiful Easter dresses and white sandals, while little boys will be getting fussed at for the
grass stains on their khakis before the family picture could be taken. The infamous Easter egg
hunt will be the highlight of the day.

No matter what season you love the most, and regardless of which holidays you celebrate in
spring, we hope you enjoy not just a renewing of nature, but a renewing in your spirit, your
family, and your workplace. May you be filled with hope and a desire to resurrect old dreams
and rekindle an excitement and passion for and in your family. Put the burdens of life down for a
minute and just be. Take the breath of spring in and relax. Life is beautiful.

All of us at Specification Rubber Products wish you a Happy Easter and a fulfilling plunge into
spring.

Welcome to the Specification Rubber Products Family

Specification Rubber Products welcomes our newest family member, Josh Vickery. Josh joins our team from a Distribution company in Birmingham and prior to that spent several years in the United States Marine Corps where he served during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Josh’s strong background in leadership, lean management, and Operations Management has prepared him to join our team as our Operations Manager overseeing all aspects of production for Spec Rubber.

At Specification Rubber Products, we follow a thorough hiring process. We understand our company can only perform at its best when we have the best fit in each position. We strive for our employee family to feel confident and comfortable in their roles. As we seek to recruit and hire the right fit, we focus on more than just their performance. We care about the person. Join us in welcoming Josh and learning a little more about him.

Josh Vickery is married to his wife Beth, a third-grade school teacher. He has 2 children ages 15 and 10 years old. His oldest son, Matthew, enjoys playing football and spending time outdoors and his youngest son, Caleb, enjoys basketball and playing with his friends. Josh enjoys spending time outdoors, going to the beach with his family, playing golf, and cheering on his favorite football team, The Alabama Crimson Tide. Josh and Beth are active in church where they attend the Grants Mill campus of Church of the Highlands.

We look forward to Josh utilizing his proven leadership skills, operational discipline and strategic thinking that will help Specification Rubber to enjoy many successes for years to come. Welcome to the team, Josh!

Honoring our Leaders on Presidents Day

 

Why do we celebrate President’s Day?

 

George Washington’s Birthday was first celebrated as a holiday in the District of Columbia in 1880. It was made a federal holiday in 1885. The holiday was originally held on the anniversary of George Washington’s birth on February 22, 1732. In 1971, this holiday was moved to the third Monday in February and shifted from recognizing only George Washington’s birthday to include that of Abraham Lincoln’s, who was born on February 12, 1809. Over time, however, across most of the US, the holiday has become a day to honor all presidents, past and present.

 

What about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln made them stand out among all the great men in our country’s history? The answer is loaded with opinion. But what we know from history books is that both were men of high integrity. These men were not perfect, but both cared undoubtedly about people. George Washington was known for being a genius in leadership. He built relationships with the men under his authority and they followed a leader who treated them with respect, regardless of rank. Abraham Lincoln is remembered as Honest Abe. Honesty is a valuable attribute that is many times misplaced in our world today. Abraham Lincoln led our nation with a heart rooted in truth.

 

What does their legacy mean for us this Presidents Day in 2019?

 

Specification Rubber Products encourages you, not to only look at our nation’s past and current leaders, but at yourself. Our leadership wants to lead in a way that is honorable. When we exemplify strong leadership through the same attributes of Washington and Lincoln, it changes the atmosphere and the quality of our work in our company as a whole. And like we’ve said before, it starts at home. Lead your family well. When you do this, you are raising up other strong leaders who will follow in your footsteps. Be what you want our country’s leaders to be. Teach others how to lead, no matter their profession or position. If even a few begin to do this, it has the potential to spread. And definitely lead well at work. It doesn’t matter if you are the lowest on the totem pole; the best leaders are born in servanthood.

 

Both well-remembered presidents treated others whom they encountered with honesty, humility, courage, justice, and grace. Washington and Lincoln knew how to serve and thus knew how to lead.

 

Be inspired to further develop the character qualities emphasized at the Abraham Lincoln Center for Character Development:

Honesty – striving for dealing with individuals and situations fairly and with truth
Empathy – showing concern and attempting to understand the feelings of others
Humility – working for the betterment of others, and in the interest of others over self
Perseverance – showing hope and determination in the face of defeats and loss
Courage – bravely standing for what is right in the face of opposition and personal fears
Intellect – continually learning all one can about the world around us
Vision – being governed by a firm set of principles & attainable ideas about the future
Responsibility – willingness to work hard and to do one’s duty as a citizen
Leadership – showing an ability to lead others in service and with justice & fairness

 

Happy Presidents Day from Specification Rubber Products.

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