Hyderabad: Next time you purchase a mineral water bottle, remember to check whether it comes with the ISI mark or not. For complaints are many about some manufacturers packing the drinking water without the mandatory certification which raise questions on the quality of the water.
According to Bureau of India Standards (BIS), every manufacturer making packaged mineral water need to obtain mandatory BIS certification from them before selling it to consumers.
The data provided by BIS revealed that in the last two years over 15 manufacturers in Hyderabad region were found to be manufacturing packaged drinking water without license or using duplicate IS certification.
Speaking to Telangana Today, Ameer Uz Zaman, Scientist F& Head, BIS, Hyderabad region, said that no manufacture can be packaged drinking water calling it by names such as flavoured water, pure water or other, without ISI mark.
“Water is elixir of life. It comes under health and safety of BIS product certification and any contamination can cause disease to humans. It is necessary to adopt strict quality control measures while manufacturing drinking water,” he said.
According to BIS enforcement officials, a total of 716 water samples have been collected from BIS certified factories in Hyderabad region during 2017-19 to check the safety measures carried out. Out of 717 samples, as many as 110 samples were found unhygienic and action was taken against those manufacturers, said a senior official.
As per BIS guidelines, presence of certain minerals and toxic substances, even in small quantities, in drinking water can be harmful. Also, the guidelines prohibit pesticide residues and radioactive substances in water, which could be dangerous for health.
Thus, any mineral water bottle, which comes with ISI marked is safe for consumption. Water supplied in 500 ml and 1 litre in pet bottles without ISI mark is completely unsafe for consumption and public should stay away from it, officials caution.
BIS assessment on water quality
BIS adopts elaborate methodology and is equipped with required paraphernalia to inspect the water manufacturing units, their laboratories and also verify the availability of technicians for assessment of purification.
Hygiene has to be followed in factories so that water packed and sold in market is devoid of any microbiological contamination. Quality of water is not only checked during surprise inspections, but also with collection of water samples, which would be lifted from the factory and sent for tests.
“We also regularly draw samples from markets for checking the quality of water using third party agenices. Public should be very careful while purchasing mineral water particularly in busy places,” Zamaan added.
Process of mineral water packaging
Packaged drinking water is drawn from any source of potable water and need to subjected to treatments like decantation, filtration, combination of filtrations, aeration, filtration with membrane filter, depth filter, cartridge filter, activated carbon filtration, demineralisation, remineralisation, reverse osmosis or any other method, to meet the prescribed standard.
The processed water need to be filled in sealed containers of various types/ sizes/ shapes made from the material permitted under ISS, suitable for direct consumption without further treatment.
The filling and packing of the processed water as per guidelines has to be in containers which are tamper proof, tight and impervious. Containers with features like cool jugs, jugs with built-in taps, threaded jars which are not tamper proof and leak proof, are not permitted.