News Releases

National Study Assesses Evolving Attitudes toward Water Quality

Lisle, Illinois – The Water Quality Association (WQA) has unveiled the results of its 2015 Study of Consumers’ Opinions and Perceptions Regarding Water Quality. This was the fifth time in eleven years that WQA has commissioned a study analyzing consumers’ attitudes toward water quality and water treatment.

The study is based on a national survey conducted in March by Applied Research – West, an independent, third-party market research firm. A total of 1,200 adults over the age of 18 and living in private households were selected by random sampling procedure and interviewed by telephone.

The study found that consumers are slightly less confident than they were two years ago in the quality of the water in their homes; 56 percent of respondents – four percent more than in 2013 – described themselves as “concerned” or “very concerned” with it.

The research also verified the impact government alerts have on consumer behaviors. Almost half of respondents (48 percent) reported to have purchased a water filtration device after receiving a “boil-water” or “unsafe water for use” alert. More than half of those surveyed (56-66 percent) expressed willingness to pay more for a home water treatment system that is able to remove biological waste, arsenic, lead, and other contaminants.

The prevalence of bottled water continues to climb, with 77 percent of respondents – up five percentage points from 2013 and twelve from 2011 – identifying themselves as regular users. Refrigerators with water filters are also on the rise, up ten percentage points, from 35 to 45 percent, since 2013.

“The study showed, once again, the positive impact that water treatment has on consumers’ lives and the growing opportunity for WQA’s members to meet the needs of their customers,” remarked Ken G Kabira, WQA associate executive director of member and public engagement.

For more information from the 2015 WQA Consumer Opinion Study, please click here.