In our previous posting we discussed the presence of pharmaceuticals and other personal care products in both drinking water and drinking water source waters in the US.† According to a scientific survey conducted nationwide for the Water Quality Association, a large majority of Americans are becoming increasingly concerned about the presence of these compounds in their drinking water.
‚ÄúAmericans are increasingly aware of potential problems in the water they drink,‚ÄĚ said Pete Censky, executive director of WQA.
The survey found that 45 percent of respondents feel very concerned and 23 percent somewhat concerned about pharmaceuticals in their water. More than 80 percent were aware of news reports on the issue.
Full poll results are below. A fact sheet on pharmaceuticals in water and the association‚Äôs Water Information Library are also online at WQA‚Äôs Web site. WQA is a non-profit association that provides public information about water treatment issues and also trains and certifies professionals to better serve consumers.
Below are results of two telephone opinion poll surveys conducted for the Water Quality Association. Results given in percentages.
Overall, how concerned are you about the quality of your household water supply, 1 being not concerned at all, 5 being extremely concerned? (January/March): 5) 32/40 4) 23/27 3) 21/15 2) 12/10 1) 13/8
Have you heard of news stories of pharmaceuticals found in water? (March only). Yes/No: 81/19
How concerned are you about the presence of pharmaceuticals in drinking water? (1 being not concerned at all, 5 being extremely concerned. March only) 5) 45 4) 23 3) 15 2) 9 1) 8
(If 4 or 5 in Q3): Are you already planning or do you plan to purchase a home filtration device in the near future? (March only.) Yes/No: 57/43.
Would you say that your drinking water is (January/March): as safe as it should be (48/39), not as safe as it should be (41/50), don‚Äôt know/refused (11/11).
The responsibility of ensuring safe drinking water lies primarily (January/March): inside the home with water treatment products (20/24), outside your home at a bottle water plant (8/8), outside your home with the municipality (72/68).
Should home filtration be expected to play a role, along with municipalities, in providing the safest drinking water possible? (March only.) 70/30.
Methodology: Surveys conducted by Applied Research-West, Inc. Respondents are representative of all US adults over 18 years old.
The survey also indicated that people are willing to increasingly take action in their homes to reduce the presence of these materials in their water by purchasing filtration devices.† The actual effectiveness of these devices to treat part per trillion levels of these chemicals is not clear.† It does show that public concern is elevated and may motivate municipalities and their regulatory agencies to consider treatment proven treatment technologies for removing these compounds from the water at much lower costs per gallon versus home based solutions.
These water treatment plant based solutions also have the additional benefit of improving other aspects of the treatment process.† The use of ozone for example can not only improve reduction of pharmaceutical compounds, but also improve disinfection of the water as well as improve taste, odor and appearance.