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News Tapping into safe and pure water (Do you know if your preferred type of drinking water is safe to drink?)

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), pathogens like bacteria, heavy metals, pesticides, chemicals or radon can be found in water and studies show that the “best” waters, in these terms, are produced from purified tap water.

Dubai: How do you choose between bottled drinking water, pure drinking water, bottled natural mineral water, spring, treated, or well water?

And in a country with minimal natural water reserves, are the labels telling the truth?

Khalid Sharif, head of food safety section from the health department at Dubai Municipality, said some companies have been caught cheating customers by refilling bottles with tap water and selling it as pure or mineral water.

“We have cracked down on these groceries and fined them.

Storage

“There are close to 40 companies in Dubai selling bottled drinking water and most are selling purified, treated water, which has been filtered. It all comes from the same source but it has a separate procedure to become pure drinking water,” said Sharif.

He said companies that wish to sell drinking water need to be certified as suppliers by Dubai Municipality.

“Bottled drinking water and tap water come from the same place, it is desalinated but manufacturers do a lot more to the water – remove the salts through reverse osmosis and replace them to their specifications,” he said. “It’s very hygienic.”

Tap water is potable at the source, however, pipes within a building and from the treatment plant can be old or dirty and make the water unsuitable for human consumption. So filters are necessary, said Sharif.

“It’s not a problem to drink tap water as it comes from Dewa, just like the bottled water originally. [But] the tanks and pipes might not be of the same standard.

“Storage is very important. There are companies that are registered with us to clean water storage tanks. With a filtered tap, water can be drunk safely at home,” said Sharif.

Bottled water companies are randomly checked on a fortnightly basis. “We have records of drivers and delivery vans and we can call them up and test samples of the water,” he said.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), pathogens like bacteria, heavy metals, pesticides, chemicals or radon can be found in water and studies show that the “best” waters, in these terms, are produced from purified tap water.

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