Drinking Water Issues And Concerns Of Urban Residents Of The Pacific Northwest, USA
Free (open access)
R. Mahler, M. Barber & B. Shafii
Urban residents of the Pacific Northwest region of the USA consider drinking water their most important water resource issue. We developed a survey instrument to measure urban satisfaction with drinking water supplies. Data were collected using mail-based surveys conducted at five-year intervals in 2002, 2007 and 2012. Each survey contained 11 questions about drinking water and was mailed to 2,200 randomly chosen residents of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Return rates in excess of 50% were received for each survey ensuring that the results are statistically valid. The 2002 survey results were used as base line data. Based on the 2012 survey results, 86.2% of the urban residents consider their drinking water safe. Despite the high level of satisfaction with the drinking water resource 17.5, 26.5 and 34.6% of the survey respondents use water softeners, bottled water and water filters as an add on to their municipally supplied drinking water, respectively. Conversely, satisfaction with drinking water has decreased over the last 10 years (91% in 2002 vs. 86% in 2012). The use of in-house water filters has also significantly increased with time (25% in 2002 vs. 35% in 2012). Overall, the urban public is satisfied that their home drinking water is safe; however, in the last 10 years there has been a trend toward more skepticism and additional in-home treatment of drinking water. Keywords: public opinion, drinking water issues, drinking water safety, adult education, public outreach, bottled water, home water treatment.
public opinion, drinking water issues, drinking water safety, adult education, public outreach, bottled water, home water treatment.