The latest headline was alarming, regarding the tap water in Brazoria County, Texas, after the discovery in the local water supply system of an amoeba that can cause a rare and deadly infection.
Gov. Greg Abbott stated, “I urge Texans in Lake Jackson to follow the guidance of local officials and take the appropriate precautions to protect their health and safety as we work to restore safe tap water in the community.”
The 2019 Water Quality Association (WQA) Consumer Opinion Study, conducted by Applied Research-West Inc., found the concern for overall quality of life affected by the environment had grown since the previous WQA survey in 2017. The WQA has commissioned this professional opinion research team seven times in the past 15 years to study a look into American’s attitudes and concerns about tap water.
Findings show that a quarter of the households in America (25%) are “very concerned” about the quality of their tap water supply and another quarter (26%) were “concerned.”
This shows a 7% increase from 2017, when less than one-fifth (18%) were “very concerned” about the quality of their tap water and an additional quarter (24%) were “concerned.”
Four out of five (80%) of the households get municipal water, while 12% have well water and 8% did not know the origin of their tap water.
Users of both municipal (54%) and well water (52%) are not totally confident that their water supply is safe.
Other findings indicate that more than half of the households claim to have knowledge of contaminants in their water supply, with 13% “very knowledgeable” and 43% “somewhat knowledgeable.”
Two-thirds (63%) of homeowners purchased some sort of treatment system when they moved into their current home.
More than two-thirds bought a point of use product (40%) or a refrigerator filter (37%), while the remaining purchases were dominated by reverse osmosis (11%).
More than three-quarters (78%) of Americans regularly consume bottled water.
Just under half of the households have a refrigerator filter system (45%) and/or a water filtration system (41%).
Almost one in five household (19%) have a water softener installed an increase from 2017 (13%).
What it all means: Americans are clearly concerned with contaminants and taste in their tap water.
Local PSD annual tap water quality test results are public record, and are posted on your PSD’s website; we recommend reading this report. We also recommend looking up your tap water supply on EWG’s National Tap Water Database at ewg.org/tapwater.
Regardless of your tap water source, it is recommended to have your water tested at the faucet to ensure you always know what is in it. When choosing a filter for your home, make sure the filter is certified to remove any contaminants.
For more information on how you can safeguard your home’s water supply, and to read the entire 2019 consumer report, visit the Water Quality Association at wqa.org, or call a local water treatment professional.
Chris Lane is the owner of Culligan Water Conditioning of the Lowcountry, serving Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties. culliganhhi.com