Photo courtesy WQA

Water Quality Association warns of bogus solicitations in El Paso

Monday morning, the Water Quality Association is once again calling attention to door-to-door solicitations in El Paso being conducted by a company falsely representing itself as WQA and offering to test the home’s drinking water. A similar misrepresentation by a different company occurred in El Paso last October.

“The Water Quality Association is a trade association, does not itself sell water treatment products, and does not solicit door-to-door,” said WQA Executive Director Pauli Undesser. “WQA has a strict code of ethics for our members, including manufacturers of water treatment products and those who install, maintain and service treatment products. They don’t use scare tactics or sham selling techniques to generate business.”

Even so, WQA continues to hear reports from around the country about people falsely claiming to represent WQA, misrepresenting themselves to sell water treatment products or offer water testing, or participating in predatory lending activities. WQA is vigilant about investigating and shutting down such practices whenever possible.

Several El Paso homeowners have shared images of a notice left at their homes the last few days urging them to call for “water info.”  The door-hanger looks like an official notice and includes the Water Quality Association logo.

The printed phone number is not WQA’s but instead that of a private company with no WQA affiliation. Some homeowners said they mistakenly thought the notice was from a local water utility instead of a private company that was attempting to solicit business.

In October, representatives from a different company were apparently posing as WQA employees when visiting El Paso homes and offering to perform water tests, falsely claiming that high levels of arsenic had been found in El Paso’s tap water.

Elsewhere in the state, solicitors in the San Antonio area last summer claimed to be WQA members when telling a homeowner that she needed a water filtration system costing more than $8,000 and collected her social security and credit card information before she realized it was a fraud.

WQA is also warning consumers to be wary of sales representatives playing on fears about COVID-19. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continues to advise the public that the coronavirus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies and that the risk is low.

The Water Quality Association operates the Gold Seal Product Certification Program and Laboratory for the evaluation, testing and certification of water treatment technologies. It does not provide testing services directly to consumers and does not solicit door-to-door or over the telephone.

WQA recommends homeowners have their water tested by a water treatment professional or certified lab. WQA members in your area can be found using WQA’s Find Water Treatment Providers tool.

The Association offers other suggestions for finding reputable water treatment professionals on its website.

In addition, WQA recommends treatment products that have been certified to work as claimed. Consumers can visit WQA’s product certification listings to search WQA’s database of certified products.

CDC information on COVID-19 and drinking water via this link. EPA information on COVID-19 and drinking water, can be found here.