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National public opinion study shows growing concern with tap water
Awareness of water treatment methods increased over the past two years among U.S. consumers, according to a national public opinion study for the Water Quality Assn. with 92% of respondents aware of in-pitcher or end-of-tap filters, up from 84% in 2015. The number of households that were aware of filters in refrigerators rose slightly, from 83% in 2015 to 84% this year. Percentages did not add to 100% because of multiple responses.
“Awareness is essential to making good decisions about water quality,” said WQA Executive Director Pauli Undesser. “A growing knowledge of effective water treatment options means consumers can make better decisions about the water they drink.”
Conducted in January and February 2017, the study by Applied Research-West Inc. on behalf of WQA also found that a growing number of respondents (23%) said reverse osmosis was the most effective form of water treatment, up from 19% in 2015. Ultra filtration was next at 22%, up from 14% two years ago.
Of those who purchased a water filtration system, 36% said they were concerned about whether tap water is safe to drink, up from 27% in 2015. A similar number, 3%, said they were concerned about the health risks associated with tap water, up from 31% two years earlier.
WQA released the latest results of its survey in connection with Water Quality Month, a time to call attention to water quality issues and ways consumers can help safeguard our water supplies. WQA recommends homeowners with concerns about their water have their water tested by a water treatment professional or certified lab.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires municipalities and public water systems to make available to their residents a copy of their annual drinking water quality report, also known as the Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) by July 1 of each year. The WQA national survey found that 62% of households said they did not receive or did know if they received their CCR, up from 56% two years ago.
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 to 15, 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.