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Bottled water quality lacks verification

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12th-Apr-2017       
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MEDIA reports said business firms selling bottled water for drinking are in fact running brisk business with poorly filtered water or contaminated water in the name of pure drinking water. It is recently reported in a national daily that the growing appetite for pure water is giving the dishonest bottlers the opportunity to supply drinking water pumped from under ground aquifer without proper treatment in the processing plants. It is not properly treated before bottling. What is noticeable is that they are continuing to deceive the people without proper verification of the quality of such water by competent authorities like Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI), although they are reportedly using its logo as a mark of pure water certification on containers and bottles.

The mushrooming of brands and their supply chain is noticeable throughout the country down to village market using the laxity of regulation and sample verification as and when Health Inspectors are supposed to do it. Such water is not only harming human health but also causing financial loss to people and impacting environment by spreading empty bottles in open field and water bodies. These are free disposal points ending to block sewerage lines in many cases while adding problems to keep the city clean. But the bigger question is the quality of the water and whether it is regularly tested and certified, though the containers and bottles are showing the mark. We must say that the government should focus on the issue immediately by bringing fake companies under regulation while strengthening the capacity of the government water supply agencies to provide safe water for drinking.

In fact a nexus is working now to allow bottling firms to expand slowing the expansion of the government run drinking water lines to meet the growing demand of it in the cities. It is not unknown that most of the companies fill the jars with tapped water, sometimes use water purifying tablets in adequate number and supply those in containers to every home, restaurants, and tea stalls. Only few of the hundreds of firms have the license to produce mineral water and the rest are just pocketing hefty profit showing the trade license. Surprisingly most of the recycled water containers available in house or shop have no mark of any producing companies and date of supply.

As it appears law enforcers and everybody have taken the supplier without challenging the quality of water and in our view such vacuum must end through regular inspection and verification. We urge the government and the relevant public health authorities to take the issue seriously to make sure that suppliers are not cheating people.

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