A cross-sectional survey using computer-assisted telephone interviewing was performed to assess the drinking water consumption patterns in a Canadian community, and to examine the associations between these patterns and various demographic characteristics. The median amount of water consumed daily was four 250 ml servings (1.0 l), although responses were highly variable (0 to 8.0 l). Bottled water consumption was common, and represented the primary source of drinking water for approximately 27% of respondents. Approximately 49% of households used water treatment devices to treat their tap water. The observed associations between some demographic characteristics and drinking water consumption patterns indicated potential differences in risk of exposure to waterborne hazards in the population. Our results lend support to the federal review of the bottled water regulations currently in progress in Canada. Additionally, they may lend support to a provincial/territorial government review of bottled water regulations, and both federal and provincial/territorial level reviews of the water treatment device industry. Further investigation of the use of alternative water sources and the perceptions of drinking water in Canada is also needed to better understand, and subsequently address, concerns among Canadians.

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