SEOUL, Dec. 19 (Korea Bizwire) – General satisfaction with the quality of tap water is a sentiment widely shared among South Koreans, as a fact-finding study revealed that over 90 percent have a favorable opinion.
However, despite the study’s results, only one in two stated that they actually drank water from the tap.
Conducted by two tap water organizations (Water24, Citizen’s Network for Tap Water), the 2017 tap water study included responses from 12,196 individuals, of which 92.6 percent rated tap water as “satisfactory” or better.
More specifically, 46 percent answered with “satisfactory”, 35.4 percent with “somewhat satisfactory” and 11.2 percent with “very satisfactory”.
There was a slight difference in how tap water was judged depending on whether the individual was drinking it or not, as 95.9 percent considered the quality of tap water to be satisfactory or better when in the process of drinking, while 89.3 percent said the same when they were not.
The near unanimous satisfaction that South Koreans feel about tap water has not translated into much actual consumption, with only 49.4 percent revealing that they drink from the tap on a regular basis.
Three of the most common means of consuming tap water were cooking (49.4 percent) and making coffee or green tea (45.8 percent). A small minority (7.2 percent) said they used tap water to make ice. (In the study, respondents could name more than one means of consumption).
The reasons listed for drinking tap water were convenience (49.7 percent), out of habit (22.7 percent), “because it’s safe” (11.2 percent) and affordability. A few (1.8 percent) answered “because it tastes good”.
Conversely, a large proportion (34.3 percent) that abstained from imbibing tap water relied on water dispensers, and a smaller fraction bought bottled water (13.1 percent). There were also a few who stated that they drank water from wells, springs and underground water sources (3.2 percent).
“Safety” and “convenience” were the leading choices for why individuals chose to forego the option of drinking tap water at 42 percent and 33.3 percent, respectively.