News Releases

Water Quality Association releases national opinion survey

Concern about quality of drinking water grows over past two years

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (April 23, 2019) – Americans are clearly concerned about their overall quality of life being affected by the environment, according to the 2019 WQA Consumer Opinion Study, and their concern has grown since the last survey in 2017. 

The independent survey was conducted by Applied Research-West, Inc., in January 2019. The study offers a look into Americans’ attitudes and concerns about their water. It is the seventh time in 15 years that the Water Quality Association (WQA) has commissioned this professional opinion research team. 

Preliminary results were released during the WQA Convention & Exposition.

Among the major findings: 

  • A quarter of the households (25%) in America are very concerned about the quality of their household’s water supply, and another quarter (26%) are concerned.
  • That’s an increase from the 2017 study, when less than a fifth (18%) were very concerned about the quality of their household’s water supply, and an additional quarter (24%) were concerned.
  • Similarly, concern regarding the safety of tap water (48%) has grown significantly since the 2017 study. 
  • Four out of five (80%) households get municipal water, while 12% have well water and 8% don’t know the origin.
  • Both users of municipal water (54%) and well water (52%) are not totally confident that their water supply is safe.

Most Americans are somewhat knowledgeable about what contaminants might be found in their water supply, according to the study, and, unaided, almost half identify lead as the primary substance of concern.

Consumers identifying lead as a contaminant has grown significantly from previous studies:

  • More than half of the households claim knowledge of contaminants in their water supply, with 13% describing themselves as very knowledgeable.
  • Almost half identify lead (47%) as a contaminant without prompting.By comparison, a third (33%) identified lead in the 2017 report. 
  • On an aided basis, the majority are aware that lead (88%) and chlorine (80%) might be found. Slightly fewer mentioned arsenic (69%), radium (56%), and pharmaceuticals (56%). 

The majority of Americans bought some sort of water treatment system when they moved into their current home, according to the study; the overwhelming majority bought a simple and inexpensive system. 

  • Two-thirds (63%) purchased some sort of treatment system when they moved into their current home.
  • More than two-thirds bought a Point of Use/Point of Entry product (40%) or a refrigerator filter (37%), while the remaining purchases were dominated by reverse osmosis (11%).   

The report presents the findings of a national online survey conducted by Applied Research-West, Inc. between Jan. 1 and Jan. 30, 2019. A total of 1,405 adults over 18 and living in private households were interviewed. ARW used a random sampling procedure, and the survey results are accurate within +/-2.6 percent. The results are representative of all U.S. adults over 18.    

WQA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. WQA’s education and professional certification programs have been providing industry-standardized training and credentialing since 1977.  The WQA Gold Seal certification program has been certifying products that contribute to the safe consumption of water since 1959. The WQA Gold Seal program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).

# # #