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
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
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
-- 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
-- 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
-- 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
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