Poll: 1/3 of people drink tap water

Survey shows most of population doesn't drink straight from tap.

July 6, 2010 04:27
1 minute read.
The Eshkol Reservoir in the Beit Netofa Valley hol

water reservoir 311. (photo credit: Mekorot)


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Two-thirds of the population doesn’t drink water straight from the tap, according to a public opinion survey from late May.

Thirty-five percent don’t drink tap water at all, while another 32% either filter or treat it before drinking, according to a Smith Consulting poll for Ronen Tzur Tikshoret.

Ministers urged to give up bottled water

Poorer people (41%), religious and haredi people (64%) and Arabs (53%) were more likely to drink tap water. Just 18% of secular and just 10% of olim from the former Soviet Union (FSU) said they drank tap water.

Tap-water drinkers were also much more common in the Jerusalem area (55%) than in the center (19%).

Of those who didn’t drink water straight from the tap, 31% explained why they didn’t by saying “it didn’t taste good,” 32% said there were harmful things in the water and 14% said they had been convinced it was bad for you.

Instead of tap water, 35% picked up bottles of water from the supermarket, 31% had a treatment system of some kind installed at home (like Tami4) and 30% used a filter (like Brita).

Just 4% said they had containers of mineral water delivered to their homes.

Sixty percent of olim from the FSU were likely to pick up bottles from the store, the survey found, as opposed to the general average of 35%.

The majority of people surveyed eschewed a scientific method for determining tap water quality – 56% based their decision on their personal experience. Fourteen percent relied on media reports of water quality.

And yet, 57% of those polled were convinced the quality of Israel’s tap water was on par with Europe or the US, rather than the Third World.

Sixty-four percent, nevertheless, thought that mineral water was of higher quality than tap water. Young people up to age 29 were most skeptical of tap water versus mineral water – 87% thought mineral water was of higher quality. Among those over 50, 42% thought so.

The telephone survey was carried out May 27-28 among a representative sample of 500 adults, both Jewish and Arab, aged 18 and older. The margin of error was 4.5%.

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