Sat | Jun 15, 2019

MOH investigating concerns about potable water, public urged to be vigilant

Published:Tuesday | June 11, 2019 | 4:50 PM
File photo

The Ministry of Health and Wellness is reporting that it is probing concerns some that private trucking companies have retrofitted cesspool trucks and are using the vehicles to deliver drinking water in the Corporate Area.

The concern was raised at a recent meeting of the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation.

The Ministry says the matter is under investigation.

It notes that as part of its regulatory responsibility, it continues to monitor the production and distribution of potable water intended for domestic and commercial consumption.

According to the ministry, quality checks are carried out by public health inspectors across the island on a weekly basis.

In the meantime, Director of Environmental Health at the Ministry, Everton Baker, notes that water supplied to the public should be from the National Water Commission (NWC) or a Ministry approved source.

Baker says the list of approved sources can be obtained from the respective parish health departments.

He says it is important for consumers to be vigilant when receiving potable water in light of the prevailing drought conditions as the demand for potable water increases. 

“In addition to the work of the Ministry, before water is received, consumers should observe whether or not the vehicle including the water holding containers, hose and fittings are clean. Consumers should also ensure that the water is not discoloured and that there is no odour or foreign matter in the water. Commercial entities are advised, where possible, to do additional quality checks,” Baker cautioned.

He added: “If the quality of the water is in doubt, consumers are advised to treat the water by boiling or adding bleach. Water should be heated until it comes to a rolling boil [where large bubbles continuously coming to the surface of the water] which should be maintained for one minute. Consumers may also add household bleach, not bulk bleach to treat drinking water. After bleach is added, stir and allow to stand for 30 minutes before consuming.”

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