Columbia Water's water quality is often a target for unscrupulous businesses. Columbia Water's water is excellent and meets or exceeds all Federal and State standards designed to protect consumers against disease causing bacteria and other harmful substances. However, private water firms may approach you with the claim that their water treatment devices can improve the quality and safety of your water.
Columbia Water urges our customers to be cautious of unnecessary water treatment systems. Please ensure that you have a thorough understanding of what a water purification product can and cannot do to enhance your current water quality. Some companies may use deceptive sales techniques to mislead you into purchasing unnecessary home treatment systems. Please remember that these businesses are not endorsed or affiliated with Columbia Water. To ensure the accuracy of water testing, you should request the use of credible laboratories that employ testing techniques certified by the Environmental Protection Agency. If you choose to purchase a water treatment device, please be sure that it is third-party certified by NSF International or the Water Quality Association (WQA). Check to see that the system of your choice is specifically certified to target the contaminants you wish to reduce.
Proceed cautiously if a salesperson or telemarketer suggests any of the following:
- The water in your area is contaminated. Some unscrupulous dealers or salespeople may suggest that water in your area contains dangerous impurities such as lead or pesticides. If you have any reason to suspect that your local water supply is dangerous, first call the Environmental Protection Agency's safe drinking water hotline at 1 800 426 4791.
- Their water-filtration products are certified or recommended by the US government. The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) is the provider of certification of water treatment systems.
- An offer for an in-home test to check the safety of your water. In-home water tests can often be used by con artists to create a false impression that you must purchase a water filter to protect your and your family's health.
- Their company's water filter doesn't require maintenance. All water filtration devices require some form of maintenance, although it may be as simple as an occasional filter change.
- Their water filters remove all known contaminants. No water purification device can take out every contaminant known to man.
- You have won a prize but you have not entered any contest. Some sellers will suggest that you have won a free gift or a prize, and that you must buy a water filter in order to be eligible to redeem the prize. After inquiring about your prize, you may find that the water filtration device costs hundreds or thousands of dollars, while the prize you "won" may be worth very little.
If you are the victim of a water-filter scam, you may contact:
- Better Business Bureau: File complaints online. The BBB where you file a complaint must be located near the offending company's headquarters.
- Federal Trade Commission: Write to the FTC at the following address: Correspondence Branch Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580 or call the FTC's Consumer Help Line at 1 877 382 4357.
- South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs.
1136 Washington St.
Columbia, SC 29201
(803) 545 3300
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