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Publication Abstract

Consumer Attitudes Toward Public Water Supply Quality: Dissatisfaction and Alternative Water Sources Curry, Lynn L., 1983  Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, IL,  ISWS C-158    Full Text Available

A survey of consumers' attitudes was conducted to determine their perception of drinking water quality. Bottled water buyers and home water treatment unit users were polled to discern what led these consumers to reject or alter the available public drinking water. The study revealed that people who buy bottled water and home units are dissatisfied with the quality of the available drinking water supply and generally rate their water as poor.

The most frequent explanations for dissatisfaction with the quality of drinking water may be placed in three categories: aesthetic reasons, health reasons, and social reasons. Aesthetic concerns were primarily with taste and water hardness, then with floating particles (turbidity) and odor and color. The home unit buyers were shown to be largely concerned with aesthetic qualities such as taste and hardness, while the bottled water buyers more often expressed a concern with the potential health effects of the drinking water. Primary health concerns were found to be with the sodium content of the drinking water and the presence of chemicals. Social reasons for dissatisfaction with one's drinking water quality were not frequently cited. Questionnaire responses disclosed a lack of consumer awareness and confidence in the competency of public water supply personnel.



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