The water supply in residential and commercial buildings is considered ‘unbottled drinking water’.


Authorities in Ajman have tightened policies on water safety,  the sewage leak incident caused more than 190 residents to fall sick.

Khalid Al Hosany, director of the health and environment department of the Ajman Municipality, on Sunday rolled out stricter measures for owners, managements, developers or operators of residential facilities.

He reiterated that building owners in the emirate are responsible for ensuring that all their water storage tanks are clean and the water supplied to their tenants are safe for use.

“The water supply in residential and commercial buildings is considered ‘unbottled drinking water’, which is subject to GSO No. 149/2014 standards and specifications,” Al Hosany said.

According to the GCC Standardisation Organisation (GSO), ‘unbottled drinking water’ must not contain “any substances which would affect its color, taste, odour or appearance. It should be free from foreign bodies, such as soil, sand, hair and other substances and impurities which are visible to the naked eye”.

The GSO specifications also include other water quality guidelines that all buildings and facilities in the emirate must follow closely.

As part of the new policies, building owners are required to regularly check their water tanks and storage facilities. They must schedule cleaning and disinfection operations every six months or whenever these are needed. Such procedures must be carried out only by certified companies, according to the municipality.

All water tanks must also be properly sealed to avoid contaminants, and appropriate insulation should be in place.

The municipality emphasised that ground water tanks must be kept away from sewage pipes.

A probe of the recent incident at Horizon Towers found that a sewage leak contaminated the buildings’ water supply. Tenants earlier told that they didn’t drink their tap water, and yet scores of them had been rushed to hospitals.

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