By Vinod Nair — MUSCAT: April 2 – With summer fast approaching, Muscat Municipality has urged shopkeepers to be cautions while storing bottled drinking water. In a statement on Sunday, it urged shop owners and salesmen to keep bottled water in specific containers to prevent damage. It may be noted that earlier last month, the authority had started cracking down on establishments found to be violating norms while storing and delivering drinking water. In one such incident several people were arrested for storing and refilling bottled water in unhygienic conditions.
As per the guidelines by the authorities, plastic water bottles should be not exposed to sunlight for fears of a chemical reaction that is harmful to health. The authorities said that consuming bottled drinking water is common both at home, workplace or any outdoor activities. While bottled drinking water is available in varied sizes at shops, supermarkets, restaurants and cafes, care must be taken to ensure that water is stored in refrigerators or otherwise in accordance with the health safety standards.
Water distributors must ensure that there is minimum exposure of plastic bottles to heat and sunlight, otherwise it may have serious impact on human health. Muscat Municipality prohibits transport of plastic bottled water in open trucks as they are directly exposed to sunlight. As per the law, soft drinks and bottled drinking water should be transported in tailor-made closed vehicles, with all details mentioned on the exterior. It should be also equipped with fire safety equipment. The vehicles must be kept clean at all times. Last year at the Muscat Municipal Council meeting, concerns were raised that drinking water cans are exposed to sunlight during transportation or stored in unhygienic conditions.