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Consumer study shows bottled water use remains high; environmental, health concerns encourage at-home treatment
Nearly a third of consumers say they drink bottled water for convenience

LISLE, Ill. (Sept. 23, 2019) – A full 78% of the respondents to the 2019 WQA Consumer Opinion Study say they regularly consume bottled water, averaging 12 bottles daily per household. That amount, which includes water consumed when away from home, is similar to the number reported in the 2017 study. 

Health concerns about the chemicals used to make the plastic bottles have encouraged 29% of respondents to consider alternatives such as a refrigerator filtration, under sink filtration or end-of-tap filtration. The study showed that almost half the households surveyed (45%) already have a refrigerator filter system at home, and 41% have a water filtration system.

 Environmental concerns prompted 24% of the respondents to start using a refillable water bottle instead of individual plastic bottles and encouraged 8% to stop drinking bottled water, the survey said. Another 9% said they stopped using bottled water and bought a home filtration system. Conversely, 58% said the green movement had no effect at all on their bottled water consumption.

Two-thirds of consumers say they buy bottled water at the grocery store, and 47% said they buy it at other retail outlets, such as convenience stores. The survey reported that 28% buy bottled water at work, 25% at sporting events and 23% at restaurants.  When specifically asked about their workplace drinking water, 25% said they drink water from individual bottles provided by employer, 18% buy individual water bottles at a vending machine and 20% drink from a bottled water cooler. Another 10% said their employer provides filtered water by a reverse osmosis system or filtered pitcher.

Nearly a third (32%) said they drink bottled water for convenience. Almost half (48%) said they drink bottled water because it tastes better than their tap water and, 38% said they were concerned about contaminants in tap water (consumers could make more than one selection).

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 has commissioned this professional opinion research team.

The report comes from interviews with 1,405 adults over 18 and living in private households. ARW used a random sampling procedure, and the survey results are accurate within +/-2%. The results are representative of all U.S. adults over 18.  WQA members can log in to the WQA website to view the members-only data from the study.


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).       



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