Do you drink Jacksonville's water?

UNF professors want more done to improve water reputation

By Bakari Savage - Reporter, anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Tap or bottle? That’s the question a new UNF study is trying to answer.

Professors say when it comes to drinking Jacksonville’s water, most people prefer plastic or using some type of water purifier.

Professors say more needs to be done to improve Jacksonville’s water reputation.

Whether it’s a funny smell or metallic taste, Jacksonville’s drinking water doesn’t have the best public perception. News4Jax spoke to JEA and they assured us that the city’s water is safe. In fact, they test it more than 50,000 times a year to insure that.

A group of UNF professors put a study together, sampling about 700 random people about whether or not they feel our drinking water is safe to drink. News4Jax also conducted our own mini sample by asking people how they feel and most say toss the tap water and bring on the bottle.

“All we do is drink the water out of the water softner at home and then here UNF provides filtered water and that’s the only time I use that is to fill up a water bottle. I never usually drink out of the fountains because it taste like lead,” said UNF Student, Michael Abear.

“I think it tastes kind of gross in some places, honestly,” said another student, Ashley Lauramore.

“Yea, it doesn’t smell good at all that’s exactly why I don’t drink it,” said Bernard Daniels.

“It smells like rotten eggs and then at home if I let the water sit for a few minutes it looks like some tar looking thing inside. It looks just nasty,” added UNF Student, Winifred Rice.

That’s exactly the kind of reaction Dr. Chiradip Chatterjee got when he conducted a survey through the UNF Public Opinion Research Lab to find out how the community feels about our drinking water.

“To summarize, the taste is bad, and my belief is that is what’s generating the concern of any kind of contaminates,” said UNF Professor, Dr. Chiradip Chatterjee.

Dr. Chatterjee along with three other professors wrote a paper investigating the willingness-to-pay for improvement in the quality of tap water among the Jacksonville community.

Most people say they would pay about $6 in addition to the regular water bill, if efforts were made to better tap water.

Dr. Chatterjee admits he’s not a scientist and can’t test whether or not Jacksonville’s water is safe, but he does think there is room for improvement.

In turn, people also said if they saw a real difference in the drinking water they would start drinking it instead of bottled or water from a purifier.

JEA releases an Annual Water Quality Report which all JEA customers have access to. All you have to do is go to: https://www.jea.com/About/Water_Supply/Water_Quality_Reports/2015_Report/

Select the part of town you live and you can check the quality findings.

 

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