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Tuesday October 26, 2021

20 brands of bottled water found unsafe for drinking

By  Myra Imran
October 14, 2021
20 brands of bottled water found unsafe for drinking

Islamabad: The quarterly report of Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), Ministry of Science and Technology, in its quarterly monitoring report of bottled and mineral water brands has declared 20 brands unsafe for drinking.

The poor quality of drinking water has forced a large cross-section of citizens to buy bottled water. However, many of the mineral water companies were found selling contaminated water.

For the last quarter (July to September 2021), 187 samples of mineral and bottled water brands were collected from Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Mianwali, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Sahiwal, Badin, Sukkur, Loralai, Quetta, Peshawar, Karachi, Bahawalpur, Lahore, Gilgit, D.I. Khan, D.G.Khan, Multan and Tandojam. Comparison of test results with permissible limits of Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) has revealed that 20 brands were unsafe for human consumption.

Twelve brands found unsafe for drinking due to high levels of sodium include Doctor Water, MEZAN, Ab-e-Muskan, Refine, Pure Life, Ab-e-Hayat, Douro, Zimal, JEL, Safa Drinking Water, Sunlay, and Aqua King.

The level of sodium in these brands ranged from 58-85 mg/L than Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) bottled water quality standard for Sodium (50 mg/L).

One brand (i.e. Pure Nature) was found unsafe due to the presence of a high level of Arsenic i.e. 23 µg/L than PSQCA water quality standard for Arsenic (10 µg/L). Two brands (Zindagi Plus and Aqua Safe) were found unsafe due to the presence of high levels of Potassium i.e.

13-15 mg/L than PSQCA water quality standard for Potassium (10 mg/L). Six brands (Safi, Abe-Muskan, Ice Well, Natural Water, Top Up, Aqua Star) were found microbiologically contaminated and thus were unsafe.

Drinking water quality is deteriorating continually due to biological contamination from human waste, chemical pollutants from industries, and agricultural inputs.

Piped water also gets contaminated because pipes are laid very close to sewerage lines or open drains and cause many serious water-borne diseases. It was found that 45 per cent of infant deaths have been attributed to diarrhoea and about 60% to overall infectious waterborne diseases in Pakistan. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 25-30% of the diseases are gastro-intestinal in nature.

The poor quality of drinking water has forced a large cross-section of citizens to buy bottled water.