Bottled Water: United States Consumers and Their Perceptions of Water Quality
1.1. Bottled Water vs. Tap Water
1.2. Consumers of Bottled Water
2. Experimental Section
- H1: Perceptions of poorer groundwater and surface water quality represent higher risk in drinking water and therefore are hypothesized to be associated with higher likelihood of purchasing bottle water as a primary drinking source compared to those reporting perceptions of higher water quality. Related, perceptions that drinking water is not safe are associated with higher likelihood of purchasing bottled water for drinking as a primary water source.
- H2: Based on the observations about small water supply systems, we hypothesize that small water supply (community well and rural district) users are more likely to use bottled water for drinking compared to public municipal water supply users. Community size is used as a control variable.
- H3: Because of the environmental impact associated with bottled water, we test the association between environmental attitudes and bottled water use. The association between the two is hypothesized to be that the more pro-environmental views a person holds, the less likely the person frequently uses bottled water for drinking.
- H4: We hypothesize a regional effect on the use of bottled water, although the specific pattern about such regional differences is not clear at this stage.
3. Results and Discussion
3.1. Descriptive Summary of the Sample
3.2. Logistic Regression Model 1: Primary Bottled Water Users
3.3. Logistic Regression Model 2: Regular Bottled Water Users
|Region||N||Mean||S.D.||Regions with significant differences|
|R4||1,344||0.136||0.343||R6, R7, R8, R9|
|R6||1,122||0.185||0.389||R4, R7, R8|
|R7||932||0.045||0.208||R4, R6, R9|
|R8||993||0.063||0.244||R4, R6, R9|
|R9||1,432||0.198||0.398||R4, R7, R8|
References and Notes
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|Variable Name||Description||Responses||Mean/%||Std. Dev.|
|Primary bottled water users||Do you primarily purchase bottled water for your drinking water? (N = 5,823)||0 = no||86.6%|
|1 = yes||13.4%|
|Regular bottled water users||I often use bottled water for drinking purpose (N = 5,821)||0 = no||54.6%|
|1 = yes||45.4%|
|Surface water quality||What is the quality of surface water (rivers, streams, lakes) where you live? (N = 5,142)||1 = poor||1.99||0.482|
|2 = fair|
|3 = excellent|
|Ground water quality||What is the quality of groundwater (sources of well water) in your area? (N = 4,166)||1 = poor||2.22||0.590|
|2 = fair|
|3 = excellent|
|Environmental attitudes||Indicate how you see yourself on environmental issues (N = 5,797)||1 = for total natural resource use||5.76||1.580|
|10 = for total environmental protection|
|Age||Age of respondents||Range from 18 to 95||56.39||16.094|
|Community size||What size do you consider your community to be? (N = 5,749)||1 = less than 3,500 people||3.63||1.386|
|2 = 3,500 to 7,000 people|
|3 = 7,000 to 25,000 people|
|4 = 25,000 to 100,000 people|
|5 = more than 100,000 people|
|Education||What level of education you have completed? (N = 5,930)||1 = less than high school or some high school||3.40||1.125|
|2 = high school graduate|
|3 = some college or vocational training|
|4 = college graduate|
|5 = advanced college degree|
|Gender||What is your gender? (N = 5,603)||0 = female||33.7%|
|1 = male||66.3%|
|Public water supply||Where do you primarily get you drinking water? (N = 5,044)||1 = private water supply (from private well, river, pond, lake)||13.5%|
|2 = public municipal supply||73.1%|
|3 = small water systems (community well or rural water district)||13.4%|
|Region||EPA water geographical regions (N = 5,823)||4 (AL, FL, MS, TN)||23.1%|
|6 (AR,LA, OK, TX)||19.3%|
|7 (IA, KS, MO, NE)||16%|
|8 (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT)||17.1%|
|9 (AZ, CA, NV)||24.6%|
|Variables||OR (Odds Ratio)||CI 95%|
|Surface water quality||0.778*||0.593–1.021|
|Ground water quality||0.670***||0.529–0.849|
|Gender (control: male)||1.323**||1.025–1.707|
|Drinking water (control: safe)||5.884***||4.464–7.757|
|Region (control: region 9)|
|Pseudo R2 (Nagelkerke)||0.263|
|Surface water quality||1.049||0.874–1.259|
|Ground water quality||0.661***||0.566–0.771|
|Gender (control: male)||1.243**||1.035–1.493|
|Drinking water (control: safe)||1.742***||1.307–2.323|
|Region (control: region 9)|
|Small water supply systems|
Private water supply
Municipal water supply
|Pseudo R2 (Nagelkerke)||0.094|
© 2011 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
Hu, Z.; Morton, L.W.; Mahler, R.L. Bottled Water: United States Consumers and Their Perceptions of Water Quality. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 565-578. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph8020565
Hu Z, Morton LW, Mahler RL. Bottled Water: United States Consumers and Their Perceptions of Water Quality. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2011; 8(2):565-578. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph8020565Chicago/Turabian Style
Hu, Zhihua, Lois Wright Morton, and Robert L. Mahler. 2011. "Bottled Water: United States Consumers and Their Perceptions of Water Quality" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 8, no. 2: 565-578. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph8020565