May 10, 2017

Survey Shows Majority of Households Don't Read Water Quality Reports

The percentage has increased from the 2015 survey

Many homeowners do not read their local water quality reports

The Water Quality Assn. (WQA) announced that 62% of households across the U.S. either didn’t receive or don’t know if they received their community’s annual consumer confidence report (CCR) about the quality of their drinking water, according to a national study of consumer opinions and perceptions regarding water quality. This percentage increased from 56% in a 2015 survey. The findings were released in conjunction with Drinking Water Week, May 7 to 13, 2017.

“We always want people to be aware of the information that is available to check the quality of their drinking water,” said WQA Executive Director Pauli Undesser. “Homeowners need good data to decide whether additional water treatment options should be considered.”

Residents whose homes are served by a public water system get a copy of their municipality’s CCR each year, usually around the beginning of July. The report provides information about what contaminants, if any, are present in the water supply and what impact they may have on residents’ health.

Conducted in January and February of 2017, the study by Applied Research-West, Inc. on behalf of WQA offers a snapshot of Americans’ evolving attitudes and perceptions about their water. It is the sixth time in 13 years WQA has commissioned this professional opinion research team.

The survey also showed that 32% of households that did receive the CCR said the report raised concerns regarding the quality of their water. In addition, 36% said their municipality is not doing enough to ensure that the water reaching their home is safe to drink.

WQA recommends homeowners have their water tested by a water treatment professional or certified lab. Water treatment professionals can be found using WQA's Find Water Treatment Providers tool. WQA recommends treatment products that have been certified. Consumers can visit WQA’s product certification listings to search WQA’s database of certified products and professionals.

The report presents the findings of a national online survey conducted by Applied Research-West Inc. Feb. 1 to15, 2017. A total of 1,711 adults over the age of 18 and living in private households were interviewed. ARW used a random sampling procedure and the survey results.

More about the survey can be found at WQA also has made available a free booklet Water Treatment for Dummies (a Wiley Brand): WQA Special Edition to help consumers save money while enhancing the quality of the drinking water in their home or business.