Consumers in the United States today are more aware of water quality than at any previous time in history.

In March each year, World Water Day is celebrated to raise awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. This year world water leaders launched a new survey that focused on the question, “What does water mean to you?” 

The answer is different for everyone, but one common answer indicates a growing lack of trust in tap water. The survey clearly shows that North American consumers care about the quality of tap water and undoubtedly are interested in promoting sustainability. The study also shows that more work must be done to help consumers gain a deeper understanding about how to ensure their water is clean and safe, and how they can do more to protect the environment.

The survey examined respondents’ attitudes and perspectives on water as related to health, environmental impact, and other areas. While many said they were taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint, their actions suggest they still do not realize the impact of some of their practices.

Despite their interest in sustainability, for example, 67% of people in North America drink water from single-use plastic bottles away from home – and 57% do so at home.

Interestingly, 72% of people around the world believe bottled water is safer than tap water. Perhaps because of this belief, more than 50 billion plastic bottles are purchased every year in the U.S.

This high usage may relate to a lack of understanding about the waste these practices generate: Nearly half of those surveyed in North America believe plastic bottles are not bad for the environment because they can be recycled. In fact, just 29% of plastic bottles are recycled in the U.S. each year.

The goal of water treatment professionals is to help drive a better understanding of the key role water plays in our lives and ensure access to clean, safe water at home, at work, and on the go for all.

Local PSD annual tap water quality test results are public record and posted on each PSD’s website. We recommend reading this report, as well as researching your tap water supply on EWG’s National Tap Water Database at

Regardless of your tap water source, we recommend having it tested. And when choosing a filter for your home, make sure the filter is certified to remove any contaminants, if any, that might be found in your tap water.

There are many economical treatment solutions on the market today to increase the quality and safety level of your family’s water. Pitchers, refrigerator filters, faucet mounted filters and under-sink carbon filters are excellent starting filters to remove some contaminants.

But reverse osmosis technologies with pre-filtration and thin film composite membranes are the most reliable final barrier to ensure the highest percentage of contaminant reduction and deliver great tasting, safer drinking water.

Chris Lane is the owner of Culligan Water Conditioning of the Lowcountry, serving Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties.