Culligan Survey Reveals Consumers Want More Information About Their Water

    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

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