Wednesday, October 5, 2016 - 10:05am

Madisonians cite safety and conservation as top water issues

More than 70 percent of Madisonians are actively working to conserve water, according to results of a recent survey from Madison Water Utility. Over a thousand people took the survey aimed at getting feedback on critical water issues like infrastructure, safety, sustainability and cost.
Despite the focus on conservation, the survey reveals that only 35% of Madisonians know exactly where their water comes from. Ten percent admit they turn on the tap without ever stopping to think about the source of their water (Madison uses 22 high-capacity wells across the city to pump groundwater from underground aquifers). According to the survey, respondents who know exactly where their water comes from are twice as likely to conserve as those who don’t really think about the source of their water.
People may not always know where or how the city gets its water, but 83 percent listed quality and safety as their top concern. And while nearly 90 percent say they believe Madison’s water is safe to drink, fewer than half actually drink straight from the tap. About 43 percent drink filtered water, and 9 percent say they buy bottled water or fill plastic jugs at the grocery store.
Just 4 percent of respondents listed the cost of Madison’s water as their number one issue, and 94 percent say they are either satisfied or very satisfied with the value that Madison Water Utility provides. Madison Water Utility raised water rates in 2015 and also moved to a tiered rate structure for residential customers to encourage conservation. The average homeowner in Madison currently pays about $19.09 a month for water as part of their Madison Municipal Services bill.
The survey represents the first time Madison Water Utility has attempted to gather feedback from everyone who uses Madison water, not just bill-paying customers. Results will be shared with the utility’s regulators, board and city officials.

Complete survey details can be found here, in the Know Your H2O final report.


Water Utility