American Water Confidence Poll

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A majority of Americans have concerns over the quality of drinking water coming from municipal water sources. There is a difference in confidence Lower-income Americans and those from minority groups are especially likely to worry about their water being contaminated.

More than half of Americans say that Flint’s contamination is a sign of a more widespread problem, while about 4 in 10 say it’s an isolated incident. But relatively few — 21 percent — say they’re paying close attention to news about the situation in Flint; 38 percent say they’re following somewhat closely and 38 percent aren’t following closely.

Blacks are significantly more likely than whites to think it’s a sign of a more widespread problem, and 32 percent of them are following the story very closely, compared with 20 percent of Hispanics and 19 percent of whites.

Water Consumption

Only about a third of Americans say they usually drink straight tap water at home, while another third drink fWaterConsumptionPollGraphiltered tap water and the remaining third drink bottled water.

About 4 in 10 whites, but less than 2 in 10 African-Americans or Hispanics, say they drink straight tap water at home. Just over half of blacks and 4 in 10 Hispanics drink bottled water at home, compared to only a quarter of whites.

Just four in 10 whites, but 6 in 10 non-whites say concerns about contamination are a major factor in their decision to drink bottled or filtered water.

Six in 10 Americans in households making less than $50,000 a year, less than half of those making between $50,000 to $100,000, and just 4 in 10 of those making $100,000 cite concerns about contamination as reasons for not drinking tap water.

Government’s Role

Half of Americans say the federal government should do more to ensure safe drinking water, while 40 percent say its involvement is about right and 7 percent think it should be doing less.

An AP-GfK Poll of 1,033 adults was conducted online Feb. 11-15, using a sample drawn from GfK’s probability-based KnowledgePanel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

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Attribution: AP-GfK Poll: About half of Americans confident in tap water

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