Consumers warned about water treatment scamsby Lorna Benson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Health is warning residents to be wary of water treatment companies that use scare tactics and deceptive practices to sell their water purification systems.
The agency has received more consumer complaints than usual during the past two years. The Health Department says the schemes escalated after several high-profile investigations of groundwater contamination in Washington County and elsewhere in the state.
One company has been fraudulently claiming that it has a grant from the agency that enables it to sell its $11,000 purification system for a discounted price of $8,000.
Stew Thornley, health educator in the drinking water protection unit, says the scheme is a classic, high-pressure sales tactic.
"This was coming at the resident with a standard 'You have to take this offer right now. If I leave here and you haven't bought, I can't get you this kind of a deal on it,'" said Thornley.
He adds that many water treatment systems can be purchased for far less than $8,000.
Thornley says all public drinking water supplies are tested regularly for contaminants and promptly treated if any problems are detected. He says anyone who has questions about the quality of their drinking water should call the Health Department.