JUL 31, 2018: The Pakistan Council of Research for Water Resources (PCRWR) has found five brands of bottled mineral water unsafe for drinking due to microbiological contaminations which may cause cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis, typhoid etc.
These brands include Gourmet, Aqua Super Life, Shiraz, Aqua Splash and Marina according to a public awareness statement issued by PCRWR on Monday.
From April to June 2018, 85 samples of mineral and bottled water brands were collected from Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Lahore, Bahawalpur, Tandojam, Quetta and Karachi. Comparison of analytical findings with permissible limits of Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) revealed that five brands were found to be unsafe for drinking.
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 per cent to overall infectious water borne diseases in Pakistan.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 25-30 per cent of the diseases are gastro-intestinal in nature. This poor quality of drinking water has forced a large cross-section of citizens to buy bottled water.
As a consequence of this expanding market, a mushroom growth of bottled water industry in the country is witnessed during the last few years. However, many of the mineral water companies were found selling contaminated water.
To monitor and improve the quality of bottled water, the government of Pakistan through Ministry of Science and Technology designated the task to PCRWR for quarterly monitoring of bottled and mineral water brands and publicize the results.