Woman filling glass with tap water from tap in kitchen, closeup

2024 Better Water, Together Report 

Are Americans really drinking ‘better water’? Explore perceptions and attitudes towards tap water today. 

There is a surprising contrast between Americans’ concerns and awareness of water safety and their actual practices. In a new report from Leaf Home, 2024 Better Water, Together: Exploring Perceptions and Attitudes Towards Tap Water in the U.S., key issues emerge, including dependence on unreliable indicators for determining water safety and a general unawareness of water contaminants. 

Key Findings 

The 2024 Better Water, Together Report illuminates the pivotal yet often overlooked aspects of tap water consumption and safety, underlining the importance of informed choices concerning our essential water resources. Despite concerns about water pollutants, the majority of Americans have never tested their tap water, and bottled water consumption continues to surge. 

  • Water Contaminants: A significant number of Americans cite water contaminants as their top water-related concern, followed closely by hard water and taste. 
  • Awareness Gap: Only a minority of Americans are aware of the presence of microplastics (17%) and forever chemicals (13%). 
  • Declining Tap Water Consumption: The percentage of Americans drinking tap water has dropped to 51%, accompanied by an increase in plastic bottle use to 69%. 
  • Testing Neglect: 63% of Americans have never had their home water tested.

The Reality of Tap Water Safety: Beyond Taste & Smell 

Americans’ misguided reliance on taste and appearance for assessing water safety stems from a lack of awareness about more effective purification methods. 

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Which of the following home water issues, if any, are you aware of? / Now, which of the following home water issues is your top concern? – Among those aware of issues

  • Misleading Safety Indicators: Americans commonly rely on taste, appearance, and smell to gauge water safety—methods that are unreliable and misleading.
  • Purification Solutions: While bottled water, refrigerator filters, and pitcher-style filtration usage are common, a report by the Environmental Working Group found many often fall short in filtering PFAs and microplastics. 
  • Perceived Helplessness: A third of Americans either believe nothing can be done to improve water quality or are unsure of the steps to take. 

Discover more insights in the full report 2024 Better Water, Together: Exploring Perceptions and Attitudes Towards Tap Water in the U.S
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Using the data 
We encourage you to explore the report, and to share, reference, and publish the findings with attribution to “Leaf Home” and a link to this page. For more information, specific data requests, media assets, or to contact the report’s authors, please email us at media@leafhome.com.

This study’s robust methodology, developed in collaboration with Morning Consult, involved surveying 2,193 adults across the United States from February 28, 2024, to March 24, 2024. The survey was conducted online, and the data were weighted to accurately reflect the demographic composition of the adult population, ensuring the findings are credible and relevant.

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