‘11 mineral, bottled water brands unsafe for consumption’ in Pakistan

Contaminated bottled water continues to be sold in the market, despite efforts to ensure provision of safe drinking water, the Pakistan Council for Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) said in its latest quarterly report.

According to the report, 77 samples of mineral and bottled water brands were collected from Karachi, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Sialkot, Peshawar, Gilgit, Multan, Bahawalpur and Tandojam.

The monitoring agency found bottled water of 11 brands including New Premier, Natural Pure Water, Livon, Fresh Life, Al-Shalal, Aqua Gen, Vey, Smart Mineral Water, Al-Sahar, Douro and Do Aab unsafe due to chemical and microbiological contamination.

In January, the PCRWR had declared 42 mineral water brands unsafe for drinking due to chemical and microbiological contamination.

The government has tasked the council with monitoring bottled and mineral water brands regularly throughout Pakistan and it publicizes its results every quarter.

A senior PCRWR official told Dawn that most brands marked unsafe for human consumption were often sold in the market with different labels.

The official said laws should be enforced so these businesses were shut down or that they should at least be punished with imprisonment or heavy fines.

According to officials, drinking water quality is deteriorating 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, they said.

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