Survey finds only 67% of Minnesota public trusts tap water

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October 21st is the "Imagine a Day Without Water” day. #valuewater

Minneapolis – October 21 – Only 67% percent of the Minnesota public trusts their tap water is safe to drink according to a new international consumer survey commissioned by Kemira, a global leader in water treatment chemistry. That means about 1 in 3 Minnesotans is either unsure about or does not trust their tap water at home. The survey included 7,963 people from seven US states and five European countries. Kemira commissioned it to better understand public sentiments related to water and to raise awareness of the challenges facing the water supply.

The survey found that public confidence in drinking water quality is generally low across the US. A mere 60% of Americans believe their tap water is trustworthy enough to drink. The top reasons people don’t trust their water are fear of contaminants, chemicals, bacteria, disease and old infrastructure.

“Everyone deserves access to clean, safe drinking water regardless of where they live,” said Michael Cavallero, Kemira’s regional vice president. “While most drinking water is safe, unfortunately that is not true everywhere across the US. As a result, the public seriously questions water quality.”

What Minnesotans had to say about water

There were 400 survey respondents from Minnesota. Through the survey, Kemira found that many people in the state are unaware of basic information related to the water supply, which may contribute to the high level of distrust. Only 57% of the people surveyed said they have a good understanding of where their water comes from and how it gets to their home. Even fewer, 53%, said they understand where their wastewater goes.

Drinking water in Minnesota comes from community water systems or private wells. The Minnesota Department of Health regulates the drinking water supplied by community water systems. Private wells are unregulated.

Including both public systems and private wells, about 75% of the population drinks water sourced from groundwater (i.e. underground aquifers). Drinking water for the remaining 25% of people is sourced from surface water like rivers and lakes. For example, residents of Minneapolis and St. Paul drink water sourced from the Mississippi. 

Kemira shared the survey results today on the sixth annual “Imagine a Day Without Water”, a national education campaign organized by the US Water Alliance to highlight the importance of water and the need for investment in American water infrastructure. Kemira supplies a variety of water treatment chemistry and digital monitoring solutions.

“We're thrilled that Kemira is a part of Imagine a Day Without Water. This national day of action educates our neighbors and public officials about the essential role water plays in all of our lives,” said Radhika Fox, CEO of the US Water Alliance. “This year showed us the critical importance of water service to safeguard public health and the economy. But the infrastructure and service it takes to bring water to our homes and businesses and take it away is not free and can’t be taken for granted. We all need to educate ourselves about where our water comes from and the investment these critical systems need.” 

The Minnesota Department of Health website says the state has a vast amount of aging infrastructure that must be upgraded to ensure continued supply of safe drinking water.

The full survey results are on Kemira’s website 

For more information, please contact:

Michael Cavallero
Vice President, Commercial, Kemira
michael.cavallero @

Kemira is a global chemicals company serving customers in water intensive industries. We provide best suited products and expertise to improve our customers’ product quality, process and resource efficiency. Our focus is on pulp & paper, oil & gas and water treatment. In 2019, Kemira had annual revenue of around EUR 2.7 billion and over 5,000 employees. Kemira shares are listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd.