8 Bottled Water Brands Found Unsafe For Drinking, 4 Makeshift Plants Shut Down in Karachi

Rising concerns about quality of the tap water is driving demand for bottled water in the country; The threat from counterfeit and unbranded bottled water continues.

May 9, 2018 (BE2C2) — The Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) on Tuesday declared eight brands of bottled water unsafe for drinking due to chemical and microbiological contamination.

The unsafe bottled water brands are Aqua Fine, Pure Aqua, Livon, Zam, Aqua Gold, Pure 18, Aab-e-Noor and Edlen Premium.

According to the monitoring report for first quarter of the year (Jan to March, 2018), 110 samples of mineral and bottled water brands were collected from Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Multan, Lahore, Bahawalpur, Tandojam, Quetta and Karachi — there are around 284 bottled mineral water players in the market.

Comparison of analytical findings with permissible limits of PSQCA revealed that 8 brands were unfit for human consumption.

Rising concerns about the quality of tap water has been driving demand for bottled water in the country, and with that proliferation of counterfeit and unbranded bottled water continues.

Last week, the Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) launched a crack down against illegal water companies/R.O. Plants in Karachi, reported Pakistan Observer.

PSQCA team raided Gulistan-e-Johar and Bakhtawar Goth in the mega city and seized four R.O. plants for adopting sub-standard procedures and operating without Certification Marks License and there total stock were seized on the spot.

The country’s urban regions face increasing pressure in terms of availability of clean and pure drinking water. This challenge is even more severe in the new localities of the country’s prominent cities where infrastructure relating to the supply of drinking water is yet to reach.

Branded bottled water continues to face a threat from local counterfeit and unbranded bottled water players. These unorganized bottled water players offer their products at significantly lower prices as they do not follow any quality control checks.

However, international players dominate bottled water in the country, with the top three players – namely Nestlé Pakistan Ltd, PepsiCo Inc and Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan Ltd – together commanding a very large combined retail value share.

Brands from these leading players – Nestlé Pure Life, Aquafina, Ava Mineral Water and Kinley – continue to be available across most retail channels.

The country’s top court has taken suo motu notice on availability of clean tap water and proliferation of unsafe bottled water.

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