NORTHBROOK, Ill., Aug. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- While seven out of 10 Americans consider their drinking water safe, two out of 10 admit they don't know enough to decide, according to a recent survey conducted by Market Facts, Inc. for Culligan International Company. "People cannot live without water for more than a week," says Peter Censky, Executive Director of the Water Quality Association, Lisle, Illinois. "In most cases, drinking water is safe. But, it's critical for consumers to know as much as possible about their water. August is National Water Quality Month, a terrific opportunity for water purification experts like Culligan to highlight effective and safe solutions for any water quality concerns." Water is just hydrogen and oxygen, right? Wrong. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all sources of drinking water contain some naturally occurring contaminants. In fact, a few of these substances may actually improve the taste of drinking water and may have nutritional value at low levels. Consumers should note that contaminants are not necessarily in their own water supply. Through the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), Congress requires the EPA to regulate more than 80 contaminants that may be health risks and that may be present in public drinking water supplies. Consumers want more information What makes up our water seems to be a mystery to many. When Culligan asked consumers to guess the number of substances that could be in a glass of drinking water besides hydrogen and oxygen, 26 percent of consumers were unable to guess, and one percent actually answered "none." According to the EPA, approximately 53 percent of all drinking water nationwide comes from ground water sources (wells), with the remaining 47 percent coming from surface water sources (rivers, lakes and reservoirs). Drinking water sources vary even within communities. "Since water may differ from city to city, from well to well, and even from home to home, your water may taste and function differently from your neighbor next door or your relative across town," says Bud Hallam, Director of Technical Services, Culligan International Company, Northbrook, Illinois. "Discovering the ideal water quality 'fit' for your personal needs can be simple if you just have the proper information about your particular situation." Consumers to get more information Culligan's survey revealed that about three out of four consumers would like their public water supplier to report on the contents of their drinking water. And, thanks to federal 1996 SDWA Amendments, consumers will receive that information either now or very soon. The amendments require the following: -- Water suppliers must alert consumers within 24 hours if water has become contaminated by something that can cause immediate illness. -- Beginning this year, states must compile information from individual water systems, and the EPA also must compile an annual report on the condition of the nation's drinking water. -- Starting in 1999, all systems must prepare and distribute to consumers an annual consumer confidence report. According to the EPA and water treatment experts like Culligan, consumers should consider the following approaches if they are concerned about the taste or quality of their drinking water: -- Buy or have bottled water delivered to your home. Look for bottled water that meets quality standards established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). -- Consider all of your uses of drinking water. Even ice cubes, frozen fruit juice, coffee and tea should be made with appropriately treated water. -- Immerse yourself in water facts. The Internet offers many valuable sites for information about drinking water, such as the EPA (www.epa.gov), the Water Quality Association (www.wqa.org), and Culligan (www.culligan.com). -- Consider a home filtration product or certified filtration system. Look for filtration products that are certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International. Many alternatives are available, from "do-it-yourself" faucet-mount and pitcher filters, to professionally installed whole-house systems. Call 1-800-CULLIGAN to locate a dealer in your area who can help you determine the best solution for your water needs. Culligan International Company is the world's leading manufacturer and distributor of water purification and treatment products for retail, household, bottled water, and commercial applications. With over 1,500 dealers and distributors in 90 countries worldwide, Culligan has been a leader in the water purification and treatment business since 1936, and its Culligan(R) brand is the most recognized by consumers. Call 1-800-CULLIGAN or visit www.culligan.com for further information. Culligan's parent company, USFilter (NYSE: USF), is the world's largest manufacturer of water and waste water treatment systems, specializing in water management and resource recovery services for industrial, commercial and municipal customers.
SOURCE Culligan International Company