LISLE, Ill., April 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Earth Day 2013 is about creating awareness about the importance of caring for our planet and being good stewards of our natural resources. The water treatment industry today offers consumers solutions to help ensure safe drinking water for themselves while showing their sensitivity to the environment. "People today want to bring safe and clean water to their families in a way that also fosters our planet's health," said Dave Haataja, executive director of the Water Quality Association. "Our industry has exactly the approaches to accomplish that." To help consumers find products that have demonstrated their green commitment, WQA launched its Sustainability Mark this month. It is the first certification of its kind in the industry. Products earn the mark only after they have proven that the best practices for environmental sustainability have been used in their creation. Rigorous examination is required to audit and assess the manufacturers according to independent standards, developed by a WQA lead task force consisting of environmental experts, consultants, regulators, manufacturers, industry professionals and other stakeholders. Ten companies already applied for certification and dozens more are looking into it. The first products displaying the Sustainability Mark are expected to appear for consumers by the end of this year. Evaluation and auditing is conducted by WQA, a nonprofit trade group that raises industry standards through the use of respected guidelines developed by highly regarded outside agencies. In addition to the Sustainability Mark, WQA offers other performance based certifications under its Gold Seal program. The Gold Seal is designed to help consumers choose products that are effective. WQA provides seals of approval on a variety of drinking water treatment products. They are awarded only after thorough laboratory tests, literature review and materials assessment. WQA's product certification program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute.