Safe drinking water is a primary necessity to life that is of essential importance to public health. The water companies make sure that the water that comes out of the tap is safe to drink. The water companies are well aware of any actual risks in the process from source to tap, and they take many actions to avoid risks or to reduce the risks to an acceptable level. This is also what they communicate to their customers. But whether their customers are convinced that their drinking water is safe is decided not just by their knowledge of any actual risks, but also by their perception of such risks. To keep customer confidence high, it is of vital importance that the drinking water sector is aware of the consumers' perception regarding the safety of tap water: a risk may be negligible based on the facts, but might still become a big problem because of people's perception. Risk management thus should keep the balance between facts and perception.

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