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Nearly two thirds of households don’t read local water quality report, survey shows 

LISLE, Ill. – The Water Quality Association (WQA) today said that 62 percent of households across the United States either didn’t receive or don’t know if they received their community’s annual consumer confidence report (CCR) about the quality of their drinking water, according to a national study of consumer opinions and perceptions regarding water quality. That’s up from 56 percent in a 2015 survey. The findings were released in conjunction with Drinking Water Week, May 7-13, 2017. 

“We always want people to be aware of the information that is available to check the quality of their drinking water,” said WQA Executive Director Pauli Undesser. “Homeowners need good data to decide whether additional water treatment options should be considered.”

Residents whose homes are served by a public water system get a copy of their municipality’s CCR each year, usually around the beginning of July. The report provides information about what contaminants, if any, are present in the water supply and what impact they may have on residents’ health. 

Conducted in January and February of 2017, the study by Applied Research-West, Inc. on behalf of WQA, offers a snapshot of Americans’ evolving attitudes and perceptions about their water. It is the sixth time in 13 years WQA has commissioned this professional opinion research team. 

The survey also showed that 32 percent of households that did receive the CCR said the report raised concerns regarding the quality of their water. In addition, 36 percent said their municipality is not doing enough to ensure that the water reaching their home is safe to drink. 

WQA recommends homeowners have their water tested by a water treatment professional or certified lab. Water treatment professionals can be found using WQA's Find Water Treatment Providers tool. WQA recommends treatment products that have been certified. Consumers can visit WQA’s product certification listings to search WQA’s database of certified products and professionals. 

How the survey was conducted: The report presents the findings of a national online survey conducted by Applied Research-West, Inc. between February 1-February 15, 2017.  A total of 1,711 adults over the age of 18 and living in private households were interviewed.  ARW used a random sampling procedure and the survey results. 

More about the survey can be found at WQA also has made available a free booklet Water Treatment for Dummies (a Wiley Brand): WQA Special Edition to help consumers save money while enhancing the quality of the drinking water in their home or business.

The publication is under 5o pages long and is written in a simple “Dummies” style, helping those without a technical water background to identify water contaminants and find out how to treat or remove them. Anyone interested in downloading the free booklet or in learning more about the survey results or should go to WQA’s website at

WQA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. Since 1959, the WQA Gold Seal certification program has been certifying products that contribute to the safe consumption of water. The WQA Gold Seal program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC). 

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