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High-rise consumers getting unhealthy water

PENANG: Residents in high-rise buildings could be consuming water that may be potentially hazardous to their health because of a loophole in the water supply law, according to Consumers Association of Penang (CAP).

CAP president S.M. Mohamed Idris said there was no law in Malaysia that compelled management bodies of high-rise buildings to be responsible for the maintenance of the internal water supply from the meter to the tap.

“Water storage tanks in these buildings may not have been inspected for years. There is thus a high risk for bacterial and chemical contamination in such tanks, posing a health risk to consumers,” he said.

He said it was high time the Water Services Industry Act was amended to make the management bodies responsible for the maintenance of water storage tanks in their respective premises.

“Only licensed water service operators should be hired to carry out tank maintenance and cleaning jobs,” he told a press conference recently.

He said Singapore had imposed strict regulations under its Public Utilities (Water Supply) Regulations and Singapore Standard CP48: Code of Practice for Water Services to ensure clean water supply for consumers.

“In Singapore, building owners, management corporations and town councils are legally compelled to engage licensed plumbers to inspect water storage tanks at least once a year.

“When the need arises, the tanks are cleaned and disinfected,” he said.

He said Malaysia should emulate the example set by Singapore.

CAP would submit reports to Health Ministry, local government agencies and the National Water Service Commission (SPAN) to highlight the matter, he said.

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