New Study Shows Contamination Of Drinking Water Is More Prevalent Than Previously Reported

ROSEMONT, Ill., Jan. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Environmental Work Group (EWG) has released a new report citing that contamination of U.S. drinking water with toxic fluorinated compounds known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) is worse than previously estimated. In 2018, the EWG estimated that 110 million Americans' water supply may be contaminated with PFAS, but today feels this estimate could be too low. With the EWG now mapping PFAS contamination of drinking water or ground water in almost 1,400 sites in 49 states, Culligan International, a world leader in the treatment of water, is sharing tips to help individuals ensure the water in their home is clean and safe.

"Solving common and tough water issues in the home has been Culligan's call for more than 80 years," said Larry Holzman, Senior Vice President, Culligan North American Franchise. "As water contamination continues to be an issue in the United States, we want to educate people on water safety and how to confirm that the water they use and drink is clean and safe."

PFAS comprises a group of manmade chemicals that includes perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). Manufactured in the U.S. since the 1940s, these chemicals are found in a wide variety of commercial, industrial and residential products including fire-retarding foams, waterproofing, cleaning products, coating adhesives for non-stick cookware and stain-resistant carpets. PFASs typically do not break down in the environment, especially when spilled or improperly disposed of, and they can seep into the ground water and then into water supplies.

If PFAS is ingested, it can be absorbed and build-up in the body over time. Studies indicate that exposure to PFAS over certain levels may result in adverse health effects. Culligan recommends homeowners follow several steps to ensure access to clean, safe water.

    1. Know where water contamination can occur. Water impurities are not just
       limited to the water source, but can also happen in the distribution
       system after treatment from the local municipality or private well has
       already occurred. While many naturally occurring chemicals and impurities
       from local water treatments can be filtered at the source, contamination
       can occur in service pipes. These issues are commonly found in homes
       built prior to 1986 when lead pipes, fixtures and solder were regularly

    2. Learn about the filtration system currently in place at your home. Basic
       water filters such as charcoal pitchers and refrigerator cartridges can
       help improve the taste of water, but may not remove nor reduce harmful
       impurities such as PFOAs. Water treatment solutions such as water
       softeners, reverse osmosis systems and specialty filters reduce specific
       impurities that may be found in your water. Culligan's Total Defense
       Cartridge, available on the Aqua-Cleer® Advanced Drinking Water System,
       is third-party certified to NSF 53 for the reduction of many contaminants
       including PFOAs and PFOSs. NSF International protocols establish minimum
       requirements for the safety and performance of products to treat drinking
       water.  Products that are NSF Standard 53 certified receive this
       certification for their ability to reduce or remove contaminants in
       unfiltered water. Culligan also provides a Point of Entry reduction
       solution for homeowners with capacities third-party certified to NSF 53. 
       Culligan is the industry expert with thousands of PFAS systems installed.

    3. Notice any issues that may be caused by water impurities. Some signs of
       problem water include corroded plumbing fixtures, unpleasant odors,
       disagreeable taste, discolored water and even shortened appliance
       lifespan. It is important to note that some water contaminants cannot be
       detected by taste, smell or color. In these cases, only a water test can
       identify an issue.

    4. Schedule a test to identify impurities in your water. Water contamination
       can happen at any time, so it is important to have your water tested by a
       water expert who can offer solutions to bring your water to meet safe
       drinking water regulations as set forth by the EPA.  A basic water test
       from your local Culligan water expert is free and easy, and can detect
       impurities such as nitrates, hardness and total dissolved solids that are
       odorless and tasteless. A water sample taken straight from the tap can
       typically provide results in 10 minutes. If indicated by the on-site home
       analysis, Culligan can provide a more detailed water analysis in its
       certified testing laboratory. Your Culligan professional can provide you
       with the details.  While testing can be done at any time, Culligan
       recommends scheduling a water test as a result of one of several key
       factors, including after moving into a new house, if appliances that use
       water are collecting residue or burning out, and as soon as a noticeable
       change happens to your water's taste, odor or appearance. Well water
       should also be tested whenever any changes in your water such as color,
       taste, odor or cloudiness are noticed. According to the Environmental
       Protection Agency, it is recommended to test well water annually to
       ensure it does not contain harmful contaminants.

    5. Assess the current state of your water and treat any issues
       appropriately. Your water treatment professional will work with you to
       identify any impurities found in your test results and will recommend
       specific solutions for your water needs.
    6. Ensure your current water filtration system is up-to-date. If your home
       already has a water filtration system in place, it is important to
       continue the ongoing maintenance required. This includes scheduling
       filter replacements as needed.

For more information about Culligan water treatment products, including water softeners, drinking water systems, whole-house systems and solutions for business, or to find your local Culligan representative visit

About Culligan International
Founded in 1936 by Emmett Culligan, Culligan International is a world leader in delivering water solutions that will improve the lives of their customers. The company offers some of the most technologically advanced, state-of-the-art water filtration products. Culligan's products include water softeners, drinking water systems, whole-house systems and solutions for business. Culligan's network of franchise dealers is the largest in the world, with over 800 dealers in 90 countries. Many Culligan dealers have valuable equity in their communities as multigenerational family owners of their franchises. For more information visit:

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