Dissatisfaction with tap water has gradually grown over time and in many places in Canada bottled water and various tap water filtering systems have become increasingly popular. In Newfoundland, road side springs are another popular alternative drinking water supply, yet the Provincial Government does not test or treat this water. This study examines 18 communities in Western Newfoundland to determine why people don't drink tap water, the frequency of use of road side springs, and the bacteriological safety of a sampling of road side springs. The results indicate that the main reason for not drinking tap water was that it was perceived to be unsafe. But springs were used by 23 % of those surveyed and these springs were found to contain E. coli and/or coliforms 43 % of the time. By comparison, tap water testing by Newfoundland Environmental Health Officers found that between 5-6% of the community water supplies in Western and Central Newfoundland recorded the presence of coliform and/or E. Coli in 2007.

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