New survey says that most Americans are concerned about home water

Rebecca Prescott4 Apr 2013

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More than 50% of Americans have concerns about the quality of their water – and are increasingly showing a willingness to pay for treatment in the home.

These are among the conclusions of an independent survey released at Water Quality Association Aquatech USA convention. The random sample survey, conducted by Applied Research-West, offers a look into Americans’ evolving attitude about their water.

Among the major findings:

  • A quarter of consumers are extremely concerned about the quality of their water supply. Fully, 52% list their level of concern at a four or five out of five.
  • Increasing numbers of Americans say their primary concern over their water quality is related to contaminants. That percentage is 29 in this year’s survey compared to 22% in 2008. Water taste concerns have also increased.
  • Only about two thirds of consumers say primary responsibility for quality water is outside the home, with their municipality, down from nearly three quarters in 2008. More than 20% believe they are primarily responsible for the own water quality.
  • The survey showed that slightly over half, or 55%, consider themselves somewhat or very knowledgeable about contaminants in their tap water.
  • Respondents are concerned, with nearly 80% believing that tap water contains chloramine, and nearly as many thinking lead is present.

The findings also reveal that boil water alerts tend to trigger purchase of water filtration systems. In fact, boil water alerts have been growing slightly in number over each survey period.

There was an increase from a 2011 survey of people that would be willing to pay more on their water bill for removal of MTBEs or pharmaceuticals found in their tap water. In addition, they would be willing to pay more for home water treatment systems to remove biological waste, arsenic, lead, and other contaminants.

There have been significant increases in the use of bottled water and those that have water filtration systems installed in their homes.

Source: Water Quality Association

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