Locally Bottled Water Not Always Safe To Drink

There is currently no guarantee that bottled water in Cambo­dia is safe to drink, a Ministry of In­dus­try, Mines and Energy official said Tuesday.

In a few months, though, co­nsu­mers can look for quality seals on the bottles to determine if the wa­ter is safe to drink.

“Starting Sept 1, a certificate will be compulsory,” Chan Borin, de­puty director of the Depart­ment of In­dustrial Standards of Cambodia said Tuesday. “There is a lot of sub-standard pure water on the mar­ket…. I would tell people to be careful.”

Acting to make itself in accord with World Trade Organization re­quirements, the ministry is in the pro­cess of adopting about 50 na­tion­al industrial standards.

“The WTO requires us to deve­lop an institute of standards, to put the system in place so that our pro­ducts can be ready for export,” Chan Borin said.

The water standard will be man­datory for companies to receive a license to distribute. Voluntary standards for salt, milled rice, vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce and other locally made products are being formu­la­ted.

“We have a quality control scheme in place and factories can ap­ply for a seal of quality,” Chan Borin said.

Companies will be charged fees for the seal.

About 60 Cambodian factories pro­­cess water for sale in bottles. Chan Borin said some tests al­ready conducted found dangerous le­vels of bacteria and other germs in what was promoted as pure wa­ter.

Major companies, such as Euro­tech, have already passed vo­lun­tary quality control tests at the min­istry, he said.

Factories properly using osmosis, ozone and UV treatments produce safe water, Chan Borin said, but some companies falsely claim to use the processes and in fact are bot­tling and capping foul wa­ter.



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