Survey: Majority of Americans Concerned About Water Safety
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A new survey found that 75 percent of participants believe water safety is a growing concern in North America, yet 73 percent have never had their water tested for harmful impurities such as lead, E. coli, arsenic, hydrogen sulfide and iron.*
To help address water safety concerns, Culligan International, a world leader in the treatment of water, has launched the "Truth About Water" campaign including a national survey to understand just how much or how little consumers know about water along with actionable tips to help ensure their water is clean and safe.
"For more than 80 years, Culligan has been solving the toughest and most common water issues in people's homes," said Larry Holzman, Sr. Vice President, Culligan North American Franchise. "With the growing concern around water contamination in North American, we felt that Culligan was in a unique position to help further educate people on water safety issues and how to ensure the water their families are drinking is clean and safe."
With thousands of water systems spanning across the country showing excess levels of contamination and the average person using 50 gallons of water each day, the quality of water supply is paramount.** Through its "Truth About Water" survey, Culligan was able to learn more about consumers' concerns and awareness of water safety issues. Key findings include:
- 75% of respondents believe water safety is a growing concern in North America, yet 73% have never had their water tested for impurities
- 24% do not believe their tap water is completely safe to use for cooking, bathing or consuming
- 74% believe contaminations occur because of the municipalities infrastructure, yet 50% of those who receive their water from municipalities do not believe it is necessary for in-home tests in addition to testing provided by the municipality
- 48% would find value in receiving information on how to effectively deal with a specific contamination issue if it occurred
- 13% did not know they should have their water tested for impurities, and 17% don't know how to have their water tested
- 26% are worried that a water disaster could happen to them
* According to Culligan International's "Truth About Water" survey conducted through Survey Monkey in July 2016
** According to a USA TODAY NETWORK investigation
To help address people's concerns and to provide greater education surrounding water contamination issues in North America, Culligan recommends homeowners follow several steps to ensure access to clean, safe water.
- Know where water contamination can occur. Water impurities are not just limited to the water source, but can also happen in the distribution system after treatment from the local municipality or private well has already occurred. While many naturally occurring chemicals and impurities from local land practices can be filtered at the source, unsafe amounts of lead can enter water from lead service pipes. These issues are commonly found in homes built prior to 1986 when lead pipes, fixtures and solder were regularly used.
- Become educated on the filtration system currently in place at your home. Basic water filters such as charcoal pitchers and refrigerator cartridges can help improve the taste of water, but do not remove harmful impurities such as lead. Water treatment solutions such as water softeners, reverse osmosis systems and specialty filters eliminate specific impurities that may be found in your water.
- Take notice of any issues that may be caused by water impurities. Some signs of problem water include corroded plumbing fixtures, unpleasant odors, disagreeable taste, discolored water and even shortened appliance lifespan.
- Schedule a test to identify impurities in your water. "Because water contamination can happen at any time and/or through a local municipality, an underground well or a homeowner's own pipes, it is important to have your water tested by a water expert who can determine the necessary steps to eliminate any harmful impurities that may be present," says Rick Cook, Manager of Industry and Regulatory Affairs for Culligan. A basic water test from a local Culligan water expert is usually free, and can detect impurities such as nitrates, hardness and total dissolved solids that are odorless and tasteless. A water sample is taken straight from the tap with results typically known in 10 minutes. If indicated by the on-site home analysis, an expert can provide more detailed water analysis via a certified testing laboratory.
- While testing can be done at any time, experts recommend scheduling a water test as a result of one of several key factors, including after moving into a new house, if appliances that use water are collecting residue or burning out, and as soon as a noticeable change happens to your water's taste, odor or appearance. Well water should also be tested whenever any changes in your water such as color, taste, odor or cloudiness are noticed. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it is recommended to test well water annually to ensure it does not contain harmful contaminants.
- Assess the current state of your water and treat any issues appropriately. Your water treatment professional will work with you to identify any impurities found in your test results and will recommend specific solutions for your water needs.
Read more about home water quality.