More Than Half of Americans are Concerned about Quality of Household Water

Posted by
Colette McCullough

Banner of woman drinking water concerned water supply

The majority of Americans are concerned about the overall quality of their water supply.

An independent study, conducted by Applied Research-West, Inc. in January 2019, looked at 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.

Among the major findings:

  • More than half (51%) of Americans are either very concerned or concerned about the quality of their household’s water supply.Man drinking water with text
  • 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 their water from a municipal supplier, while 12% are on 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.

News stories about lead found in the water supply, like the ongoing situation in Flint, Michigan, have increased public awareness.

"Most Americans are somewhat knowledgeable about what contaminants might be found in their water supply...almost half identify lead as the primary substance of concern."

More Households Purchasing Water Filtration Systems

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  Water Quality Association commissions a national study approximately once every two years, to gather data on U.S. consumers' evolving attitudes toward water and water treatment.