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Survey rates water

Survey says, rural water company customers feel better about their drinking water’s quality than other consumers do across the country.

Wednesday, October 04, 2000

Survey says, rural water company customers feel better about their drinking water’s quality than other consumers do across the country.

Results from a Hecla Water Association questionnaire earlier this summer revealed 97 percent trusted their tap water, said Regina Fields, Hecla’s marketing director.

That percentage scored well above a national September poll conducted by ABCNEWS.com, where only 71 percent ranked drinking water quality as good or excellent.

"I think the ABC Web survey numbers are low," Mrs. Fields said. "It depends upon where the poll respondents live. Most rural or small town water (company consumers) have a much better feeling about their drinking water."

This summer, Lawrence County water systems distributed a water quality report to customers.

In its report, Hecla supplied a consumer survey, which revealed not only that people trusted their water but also that 80 percent read water quality reports, 88 percent considered themselves well informed about their drinking water and 93 percent considered their company a reliable source for drinking water information, Mrs. Fields said.

In the ABCNEWS.com poll, which sampled about 1,000 people Sept. 13-17, 7 of 10 people considered their water OK – about 5 percentage points higher than a decade ago.

Eighteen percent called it excellent and just over a quarter called it not so good or poor, the Web site reported.

Still, the increase in positive attitude shown by the poll – and Hecla customers’ overwhelming trust in their drinking water – reflects the success utilities have had in building consumer confidence and providing desired levels of customer service, Mrs. Fields said.

Hecla’s water also placed third in a statewide taste test sponsored this summer by Ohio Rural Water at its annual technical conference in Columbus, Mrs. Fields said.