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Keep tabs on water

Oct 11,2018 - Last updated at Oct 11,2018

It is commendable that health authorities acted fast and professionally when it ordered the immediate evacuation of a four-star hotel at the Dead Sea on Monday after a routine testing of its water system found the presence of legionella bacteria and ordered the closure of the hotel, pending the rectification of the health hazard.

Some 160 hotel occupants and hotel staff had to leave the premise. The fact that the Ministry of Health routinely and regularly keeps tabs on the water in hotels and other public facilities is indeed comforting, especially when many of our people are used to drinking tap water.

On second thought, this time, the problem was discovered before it caused illness among hotel customers. What would have happened if the problem had not been detected quickly enough! What assurance is there that similar health hazards have not occurred in the past, between the periodic inspection time frame?

There is a need to get to the source of such dangers and assign responsibility where it is due. Not only that, punishing those responsible for supplying homes and public facilities with contaminated water must be pursued diligently.

It is never enough to close down hotels or any other public facility when it allows contaminated water, or food for that matter, to be used by their customers. Serious follow-ups need to be undertaken in order to prevent the recurrence of similar threats to life.

Even bottled water requires closer scrutiny. Some bottled water companies have been caught using the same plastic water jars over and over again, at a time when it is well-known that reused plastic water containers become a health hazard, including causing cancer.

Accordingly, health authorities have a lot on their plate in order to prevent health hazards that occur so often in different unsuspecting forms.

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