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New EPA Quick Guide for Registering Disinfectant Products for Drinking Water Use

For Release: October 17, 2017

EPA developed this Quick Guide for Disinfectant Products for Drinking Water Use in response to requests to help prospective pesticide registrants gain a basic understanding of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) product registration process and how it relates to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requirements. We have used a graphic to help show the jurisdictional authorities of the two statutes and general steps to take under both laws.

Under FIFRA, manufacturers of a pesticide product (including a disinfectant) must generate scientific data for EPA to evaluate before the product can be registered. In some cases, Public Water Systems (PWS) may ask for additional data on an EPA-registered disinfectant to be used for drinking water. This is because, although EPA does not register or approve disinfection products under the SDWA, it does impose requirements on each regulated PWS to deliver water that meets specific standards to persons served by the system. Each PWS must determine what product(s) to use to meet the federal and any applicable state, tribal or territorial drinking water requirements. EPA’s drinking water rules do provide requirements for disinfecting water supplies.

Registration or regulatory compliance of a pesticide product or device under FIFRA does not mean that it meets the requirements of other environmental and public health protection statutes, including the SDWA, state, tribal or territorial laws regarding drinking water products, or vice versa.

After satisfying all pesticide requirements under FIFRA, applicants should consult with the relevant state, tribe or territory to determine the procedures, if any, for product approval for drinking water use in that state, tribe or territory.