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Utilities cautions about water scams
Free water testing offer again targeting consumers
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Pinellas County Utilities is cautioning customers to beware of companies recommending that a water test be conducted in your home. Such companies often use scare tactics and misrepresentation to sell a water treatment product.

Utilities has learned that customers are again being approached about having their water tested. At least one company is calling it a “public awareness program.” It is important to remember that Utilities performed more than 50,000 analyses in the past year to assure that our water meets or exceeds all federal and state standards for safe drinking water.

Companies offering to test your water are not endorsed by, or affiliated with, any government agency. In addition, employees of Pinellas County Utilities will never attempt to sell an “upgrade” to your home’s plumbing system. Utilities employees concentrate their efforts on maintaining our infrastructure, not inspecting or selling home fixtures.

Utilities urges customers to be cautious of individuals and businesses claiming they can improve the quality and safety of your water through the purchase of a water treatment system. It’s true that the taste of water may vary regionally, but your water’s quality is at or above the industry standard. Don’t let fear motivate a purchase.

Every year, as mandated by the Federal government, Pinellas County Utilities issues a Consumer Confidence Report for both potable and reclaimed water. This publication is a detailed report of your water’s chemistry. All levels are strictly controlled and monitored for your safety. The most recent CCR has been mailed to customers and can be found at http://www.pinellascounty.org/utilities/documents/CCR_2010.pdf.

Utilities advises residents to be cautious of the following:

1. Unexpected visits and “free” gifts from water companies.

2. A salesperson who adds a coagulant (a thickening agent) to your water to solidify harmless minerals.

3. Expensive prices and scare tactics.

Remember: All news of temporary precautions associated with your drinking water will come from a respected news source or directly from your water provider. If you are approached about water quality and would like information from the county, call 464-4000.

To investigate a company’s past business history or performance, call the Pinellas County Department of Consumer Protection at 464-6200 or check out the company on the Web at www.p­inell­ascou­nty.o­rg/co­nsume­r and click on “Check a business.”
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