Amended in Assembly April 16, 2013

Amended in Assembly April 1, 2013

California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 119

Introduced by Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials (Alejo (Chair), Bloom, Lowenthal, Stone, and Ting)

January 14, 2013

An act to amend Section 17577.2 of the Business and Professions Code, and to amend Sections 116825, 116840, and 116860 of, to add Sections 116831, 116832, and 116836 to, to repeal Sections 116830 and 116855 of, and to repeal and add Sections 116835, 116845, and 116850 of, the Health and Safety Code, relating to water treatment devices.


AB 119, as amended, Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials. Water treatment devices.

Existing law prohibits a person from making a claim that a water treatment device, as defined, affects the health or safety of drinking water, in connection with the sale or distribution of the device, unless the device has been certified by the State Department of Public Health or another entity, as specified. Existing law requires the department to adopt regulations setting forth the criteria and procedures for certification of water treatment devices that are claimed to affect the health or safety of drinking water.

This bill would instead require each manufacturer that offers for sale in California a water treatment device for which it makes a health or safety claim, as defined, to submit specified information, including the manufacturer’s contact information, product identification information, and the specific contaminant claimed to be removed or reduced by the device, to the department for purposes of inclusion on the department’s Internet Web site. This bill would also require each manufacturer to pay a reasonable regulatory fee to pay for the cost of publishing information on the department’s Internet Web site and for conducting enforcement actions.

This bill would make related and conforming changes.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1


Section 17577.2 of the Business and Professions
is amended to read:



It is unlawful for any person to do any of the following
4in connection with the sale, lease, rental, offer to sell, lease, rent,
5or other disposition of water treatment devices:

6(a) Make any untrue or misleading oral or written statements
7regarding the presence of one or more contaminants in water, or
8the performance of water treatment devices, including, but not
9limited to, the following oral or written statements:

10(1) (A) Any contaminant exists in the water of any person to
11whom the statement is directed unless the statement is true, is
12reasonably based on factual data, and at least a written summary
13of the factual data, that has been prepared or approved by the source
14of the factual data, is disclosed to the person to whom the statement
15is directed before that person executes any contract for the
16purchase, lease, or rental of a water treatment device.

17(B) Any contaminant may exist in the water of any person to
18whom the statement is directed unless the statement is true and is
19reasonably based on factual data.

20(2) A relationship between water quality and acute or chronic
21illness exists as a scientific certainty unless that statement is true.

22(3) The public water system, utility, or treatment plant that
23supplies water to the person to whom the statement is directed
24does not test, treat, or remove particular substances from water
25treated by it unless the statement is true.

26(4) A water treatment device removes particular contaminants
27or other substances from water unless the statement is true, is
P3    1reasonably based on factual data in existence at the time the
2statement is made, and the requirements of subparagraphs (A)
3through (C) are satisfied.

4(A) If the particular contaminants or other substances mentioned
5in the statement described in paragraph (4) are not necessarily in
6the water of the person to whom the statement is made, the
7following disclosure or its equivalent must be clearly and
8conspicuously made: “The contaminants or other substances
9removed or reduced by this water treatment device are not
10necessarily in your water.”

11(B) If the statement described in paragraph (4) is oral, the
12disclosure described in subparagraph (A) shall be made orally and
13shall immediately follow the statement. If the statement is in
14writing, the disclosure shall be in writing and shall be placed
15 immediately next to the written statement.

16(C) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), no statement about the
17ability of a water treatment device to remove particular
18contaminants or other substances shall be used to imply falsely
19that any of those contaminants or other substances are present in
20the water of the person to whom the statement is made.

21(5) Use news events, reports, or descriptions of water quality
22problems or health hazards associated with water systems or
23suppliers different from the systems or suppliers of the intended
24consumer unless, at the same time, the seller sets forth
25conspicuously and prominently a statement, if true, that the seller
26has no information that the intended consumer’s water supply has
27the water quality problems or health hazards referred to in the news
28events, reports, or descriptions.

29(6) A water treatment device would provide a health benefit or
30diminish a health risk unless it would do so.

31(7) A water treatment device will solve or contribute to the
32solution of any problem unless the statement is true.

33(b) Perform precipitation tests of the individual consumer’s
34drinking water without also clearly informing the consumer of the
35results, scope, and limits of the test. Precipitation tests may only
36be used to demonstrate the hardness or other nonhealth-related
37characteristics of the water being tested.

38(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), make product performance
39claims or product benefit claims that the device affects the health
40or the safety of drinking water, unless the device begin delete has been
P4    1 published on an Internet Web site by the State Department of
2Public Health pursuant toend delete
begin insert complies withend insert Article 3 (commencing
3with Section 116825) of Chapter 5 of Part 12 of Division 104 of
4the Health and Safety Code. This subdivision does not apply to
5the making of truthful and nonmisleading claims regarding the
6removal or reduction of contaminants not associated with a health
7or safety claim pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section
8116825) of Chapter 5 of Part 12 of Division 104 of the Health and
9Safety Code.

10(d) Use pictures, exhibits, graphs, charts, other graphic
11portrayals, endorsements, or testimonials in any untrue or
12misleading manner.

13(e) Fail to disclose clearly and conspicuously, in writing, to the
14purchaser, lessee, or renter, prior to the time of purchase, lease, or
15rent, the importance of maintaining the water treatment device
16according to the manufacturer’s instructions, including, if
17applicable, replacement of screens and filters. In addition, a
18separate printed gummed label, tag, or other convenient form of
19reminder of the importance of proper maintenance shall be provided
20to the purchaser, lessee, or renter.


SEC. 2.  

Section 116825 of the Health and Safety Code is
22amended to read:



Unless the context otherwise requires, the following
24definitions shall govern construction of this article:

25(a) “Water treatment device” means any point of use or point
26of entry instrument or contrivance sold or offered for rental or
27lease for residential use, and designed to be added to the plumbing
28system, or used without being connected to the plumbing of a water
29supply intended for human consumption in order to improve the
30water supply by any means, including, but not limited to, filtration,
31distillation, adsorption, ion exchange, reverse osmosis, or other
32treatment. “Water treatment device” does not include any device
33that is regulated pursuant to Article 12 (commencing with Section
34111070) of Chapter 5 of Part 5.

35(b) “Department” means the State Department of Public Health.

36(c) “Person” means any individual, firm, corporation, or
37association, or any employee or agent thereof.

38(d) “Contaminants” means any health-related physical, chemical,
39biological, or radiological substance or matter in water.

P5    1(e) “Health or safety claim” means any claim that the water
2treatment device will remove or reduce a contaminant for which
3either of the following applies:

4(1) A primary drinking water standard as defined in Section
5116275, or a treatment requirement as authorized in subdivision
6(j) of Section 116365 and subdivision (d) of Section 116375, has
7been established.

8(2) A national primary drinking water standard or treatment
9requirement has been established under the federal Safe Drinking
10Water Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 300g-1).

11(f) “Manufacturer” means any of the following:

12(1) A person that makes, converts, constructs, or produces water
13treatment devices for the purposes of sale, lease, or rental to
14individuals, corporations, associations, or other entities.

15(2) A person that assembles water treatment devices or treatment
16components from components manufactured by another entity.

17(3) A person that adds its own product name or product
18identification to water treatment devices or treatment components
19that have been manufactured or assembled by another entity.


SEC. 3.  

Section 116830 of the Health and Safety Code is


SEC. 4.  

Section 116831 is added to the Health and Safety Code,
23to read:



All regulations adopted pursuant to this article prior
25to January 1, 2014, are repealed.


SEC. 5.  

Section 116832 is added to the Health and Safety Code,
27to read:



Commencing January 1, 2014, each manufacturer that
29offers for sale in California a water treatment device for which it
30makes a health or safety claim shall, for each water treatment
31device, submit to the department the following information,
32together with the fee prescribed in Section 116850, by March 1 of
33each calendar year, for purposes of the department’s publishing
34the information on its Internet Web site:

35(a) The name, address, telephone number, and Internet Web site
36address, if any, of the manufacturer.

37(b) The name, address, and telephone number of a contact person
38for the manufacturer.

P6    1(c) The name and model number of the water treatment device,
2and any other product identification used by the manufacturer to
3describe the water treatment device or treatment component.

4(d) Each specific contaminant claimed to be removed or reduced
5by the device.

6(e) For each specific contaminant identified in subdivision (d),
7the name of the organization that certified the device to verify its
8removal or reduction performance for that contaminant, the name
9of the testing protocol or standard used to test the device, a
10statement from the testing laboratory giving the date of the test, a
11summary of the results, and the date, if any, by which the device
12must be retested for verification of the removal or reduction
13performance to remain effective.


SEC. 6.  

Section 116835 of the Health and Safety Code is


SEC. 7.  

Section 116835 is added to the Health and Safety Code,
17to read:



A water treatment device for which a health or safety
19claim is made shall not be sold or otherwise distributed unless the
20device meets either of the following criteria:

21(a) The device has a valid certificate issued on or before
22December 31, 2013.

23(b) The device has been certified by an independent certification
24organization that has been accredited by the American National
25Standards Institute, and test results verify the health or safety claim,
26and the device is included on the list of water treatment devices
27published on the department’s Internet Web site.


SEC. 8.  

Section 116836 is added to the Health and Safety Code,
29to read:



(a) Notwithstanding any other law, a certificate issued
31by the department shall not be valid unless the application for
32certification was filed on or before November 1, 2013.

33(b) A currently valid certificate issued by the department on or
34before December 31, 2013, pursuant to this article, shall remain
35in effect for five years following the date of initial issuance, except
36that any certification that was renewed on or before January 1,
372014, shall remain valid only for the remaining period of that


SEC. 9.  

Section 116840 of the Health and Safety Code is
40amended to read:

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(a) Thebegin delete departmentend deletebegin insert department,end insert or any local health
2begin delete officer is authorized toend deletebegin insert officerend insertbegin insert with the concurrence of the
3department, shallend insert
enforce this article.

4(b) The department may remove a water treatment device from,
5or determine not to include a water treatment device on, the list of
6water treatment devices on the department’s Internet Web site
7upon its determination of any of the following:

8(1) That the water treatment device was not certified by the
9independent certification organization that the manufacturer named
10in its submission to the department pursuant to Section 116832.

11(2) That the manufacturer, or any employee or agent thereof,
12has violated this article or Chapter 1 (commencing with Section
1317500) of Part 3 of Division 7 of the Business and Professions

15(3) That any of the information submitted pursuant to Section
16116832 is not true.

17(4) That a certificate issued by the department prior to December
1831, 2013, has expired.

19(c) Any person, corporation, firm, partnership, joint stock
20company, or any other association or organization that violates
21any provision of this article shall be liable for a civil penalty not
22to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each violation. Where
23the conduct constituting a violation is of a continuing nature, each
24day of the conduct is a separate and distinct violation. The civil
25penalty shall be assessed and recovered in a civil action brought
26in the name of the people of the State of California by the Attorney
27General, or by any district attorney, county counsel, or city attorney
28in any court of competent jurisdiction.

29(d) If the action is brought by the Attorney General, one-half
30of the penalty collected shall be paid to the treasurer of the county
31in which the judgment was entered, and one-half to the State
32Treasurer. If brought by a district attorney or county counsel, the
33entire amount of penalties collected shall be paid to the treasurer
34of the county in which the judgment was entered. If brought by a
35city attorney or city prosecutor, one-half of the penalty shall be
36paid to the treasurer of the county and one-half to the city.

37(e) Unless otherwise provided, the remedies or penalties
38provided by this article are cumulative to each other and to
39remedies or penalties available under all other laws of this state.

P8    1

SEC. 10.  

Section 116845 of the Health and Safety Code is


SEC. 11.  

Section 116845 is added to the Health and Safety
, to read:



The department shall publish on its Internet Web site
6begin delete both ofend deletebegin insert end insert the following:

7(a) (1) A list of water treatment devices for which a valid
8certification was issued by the department on or before December
931, 2013.

10(2) A list of water treatment devices for which a manufacturer
11has submitted information pursuant to Section 116832, except for
12those water treatment devices that the department has determined
13to remove from, or not include on, the list pursuant to Section

begin insert

15(3) A product worksheet for each water treatment device.

end insert

16(b) Consumer information, in English and Spanish, regarding
17the appropriate use of water treatment devices.


SEC. 12.  

Section 116850 of the Health and Safety Code is


SEC. 13.  

Section 116850 is added to the Health and Safety
, to read:



(a) The department shall charge and collect an annual
23fee of up to four thousand dollars ($4,000) per manufacturer that
24submits information as required by Section 116832. The fee shall
25not exceed the amount necessary to recoup the reasonable
26regulatory costs incurred by the department in publishing and
27maintaining the information on its Internet Web site as provided
28in Section 116845 and in conducting enforcement actions,
29including, but not limited to, referring matters for enforcement to
30other agencies pursuant to Section 116840.

31(b) Notwithstanding any other law, the department may establish
32and periodically adjust the fee authorized by subdivision (a) by
33publishing the fee on its Internet Web site, and this action by the
34department shall not be subject to the rulemaking provisions of
35the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with
36Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government


SEC. 14.  

Section 116855 of the Health and Safety Code is

P9    1

SEC. 15.  

Section 116860 of the Health and Safety Code is
2amended to read:



There is in the State Treasury the Water Device
4Certification Special Account. Fees collected pursuant to Section
5116850 shall be deposited in the account created by this section.
6The money in the account is available for expenditure by the
7department, upon appropriation by the Legislature, solely for the
8purposes specified in this article.