Posted: Friday 12th September 2014

Despite the best efforts of water companies to improve the environment, new research shows that the public believe open water areas such as lakes and rivers have become much more polluted over the last decade.

Water-flow control product manufacturer Talis UK has commissioned a landmark report, entitled Talking Water, looking into public attitudes towards water companies based on the views of 1,000 households across the UK.

The Talking Water report found that the overall perception of open water areas was that pollution levels were worsening over the last decade with 21% of people believing this to be the case. Only 12% of people thought that their area had improved in the last 10 years.

Meanwhile, when asked to score the open water areas from 1-10, with 1 referring to the highest level of pollution, 30% of people gave their local area a score of 4 or below. The average score was an unimpressive 5.8.

In addition, more people (17%) thought that the wildlife in these areas had also decreased in the past 10 years with only 11% reporting an increase.

The report also showed that open water areas play an important role in recreational activities for the public with 66% saying they visit regularly for this reason.

However, a concern for water companies is that their role in managing open water areas appears to be misunderstood by the public, with only 57% of people being aware that these companies look after wider social and environmental projects. This includes preserving open water areas for the use of the public and monitoring and reporting on pollution levels.

Mark Hodgens, managing director of Talis UK, said: “Our Talking Water report shows that the public believe open water areas across the UK are getting dirtier. Lakes and rivers are used for recreational purposes by millions of people each year as a popular place for outdoor activities and it’s essential to tackle pollution head on.

“Importantly, this research highlights some interesting findings regarding how the public perceives the role of water companies. Obviously the fact that these companies supply water is well-known, but what many people don’t realise is that they help to maintain open water areas as well. By highlighting the key role that they play in looking after these much-loved places, water companies can show customers that they genuinely care about improving the environment. Ultimately, this will help to strengthen the relationship between water suppliers and their customers.”

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August 2021

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