Only 12% of Romanians believe tap water is "very safe" for consumption

Alina Oprea
Only 12% of Romanians believe that tap water in their region is very safe for consumption by the whole family, according to a study carried out by Xylem, a water technology company. Three out of ten respondents say they regularly use filters to purify their drinking water, and almost half of them regularly buy bottled water from the market, so only 5% of those surveyed don't spend any money at all on tap water alternatives every month. Although the majority of those surveyed (over 80%) freely use tap water for personal hygiene or cooking, only 32% of them consider it "safe" for consumption by the whole family, including children.

"The situation differs slightly from region to region, and we noticed that respondents from Muntenia have a stronger perception that, in other regions of the country, tap water is safer than in the area where they live. I have noticed this phenomenon, especially among the inhabitants of the capital. But distrust in the quality of tap water generates a financial burden at the national level, with 46% of respondents spending monthly between 21 and 100 lei just for bottled water, filters, or various other alternative solutions", explains Kenny Khoo, managing director of Eastern Europe South Xylem.

However, only 13% of Romanians are frequently informed about the quality of tap water, and four out of ten respondents do not trust the information provided by water companies or local authorities.

Thus, less than two out of ten Romanians have a close-to-reality estimate regarding the real water losses, from the source to the tap, which amounts to approximately 40%, if all components of non-revenue water are taken into account. This percentage ranks Romania among the last countries in the European ranking.

"Although Romania may seem safe from the big global challenges related to water, there are many components where improvements can be made. It is very important to address issues such as population affordability regarding access to drinking water and reduce the financial burden on cities. The recent survey highlights significant user concerns about drinking water quality and water loss, underscoring the need for cities to take a proactive approach for the benefit of consumers. In this era, characterized by remarkable technological innovations, we have viable solutions at hand so that we can implement constructive strategies to improve this essential component of our lives: water", explains Gabriel Racovițeanu.

Seven out of ten respondents believe that there is a link between improving the quality of treated wastewater that is discharged into the environment and protecting drinking water sources, and 80% of them believe that investing in responding to climate change challenges as well as improving water management and water loss reduction is very important.

The "Perception of Romanians regarding the quality of tap water and water losses" study was carried out between 31.10.2023 and 06.11.2023, on a sample of 1,056 respondents, and the results of this survey can be extrapolated, with a minimal margin of error.

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