Water treatment scams use scare tactics | Crime
Pinellas County’s Water & Sewer Division is again cautioning customers to beware of companies recommending that a water test be conducted in your home. Increased marketing efforts have been noted by companies that often use scare tactics and misrepresentation to sell a water treatment product.
At least one company is calling it a “public awareness program.” It is important to remember that Pinellas County performs over 50,000 analyses per year to assure that our water meets or exceeds all federal and state standards for safe drinking water.
Companies offering to test your water are not endorsed by, or affiliated with, any government agency. In addition, employees of Pinellas County will never attempt to sell an “upgrade” to your home plumbing system. County employees concentrate their efforts on maintaining our infrastructure, not inspecting or selling home fixtures.
Customers are urged to be cautious of individuals and businesses claiming they can improve the quality and safety of your water through the purchase of a water treatment system. It’s true that the taste of water may vary regionally, but your water’s quality is at or above the industry standard. Don’t let fear motivate a purchase.
Every year, as mandated by the federal government, Pinellas County issues a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) for both potable and reclaimed water. This publication is a detailed report of your water’s chemistry. All levels are strictly controlled and monitored for your safety. The most recent CCR was mailed to customers in June and can be found at: http://www.pinellascounty.org/utilities/documents/CCR_2011.pdf
Be Cautious of the Following:
- Unexpected visits and “free” gifts from water companies.
- Offers to test your water for “free.”
- A salesperson who adds a coagulant (a thickening agent) to your water to solidify harmless minerals.
- Expensive prices and scare tactics.
All news of temporary precautions associated with your drinking water will come from a respected news source, or directly from your water provider. If you are approached about water quality and would like information from us, please call (727) 464-4000.
To investigate a company’s past business history or performance, call the Pinellas County Department of Justice & Consumer Services, Office of Consumer Protection at (727) 464-6200 or check out the company on the Web at www.pinellascounty.org/consumer and click on “Check a business.”