Health officials warn of deceptive tactics in sales of some water treatment systems

Minnesota Department of Health

 

Following reports from concerned residents, the Minnesota Department of Health is warning consumers to beware of inaccurate water quality data and scare tactics used by some water treatment companies to sell expensive home treatment units.

According to reports received by MDH, a common tactic is for a salesperson to offer a free water test and then claim that substances found in the water are above allowable limits. Companies have also falsely implied that they are working with utilities or the state health department.

Most Minnesotans do not need to install home drinking water treatment to protect their health, according to Sandeep Burman, manager of MDH’s drinking water protection program. Cities and other public water systems are required to provide drinking water that meets federal standards to protect public health. 

If you get your drinking water from a public water system, your system provides an annual water quality report called a Consumer Confidence Report. Contact your water system for the report. If you get your drinking water from a private well, you are responsible for regularly testing your well water to make sure it is safe for drinking and cooking. 

Water treatment should be installed only if it is actually needed and selected to address a specific water issue. For more information and guidance on selecting, installing and maintaining treatment, visit www.health.state.mn.us/communities/environment/water/factsheet/hometreat....

For more detailed advice about deceptive sales practices, visit MDH’s website at www.health.state.mn.us/communities/environment/water/factsheet/beware.ht...

If you believe you have been provided misleading information or subjected to high-pressure tactics during a sales visit, contact the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office at 651-296-3353 or 800-657-3787.

“We recognize that people have a right to decide what is best for themselves and their family and may choose to install home water treatment for a variety of reasons,” Burman said. “We would just urge them to be cautious when purchasing a water treatment unit.”

There are licensing requirements for anyone performing water-conditioning work, including installation or servicing of water treatment equipment. Contact the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry at 651-284-5034 or dli.license@state.mn.us for questions about obtaining a license, or at 651-284-5069 for complaints or questions about who needs to be licensed.

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