The consumption of bottled water is increasing among the general population of Pakistan due to the continuing poor quality of drinking water in the country.
It has been found that some water companies were producing bottled water that was contaminated. In response, the government tasked the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) with monitoring and improving the quality of bottled water. The PCRWR has published findings of the January-March 2015, quarterly monitoring report.
- Seven cities were targeted for montoring: Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Quetta, Rawalpindi, Sialkot and Tando Jam.
- 71 brands of bottled water were tested, of which 63 were deemed overall safe to drink.
- The following 8 brands were overall deemed unsafe to drink: Al-Haider, Aqua Safe, Al-Sana, Butt, Days Pure, Drop Ice, Effort and Noble.
- 5 of the 8 brands were chemically unsafe due to Arsenic, Potassium and Sodium: Al-Haider, Aqua Safe, Al-Sana, Days Pure and Noble.
- 3 of the 8 brands were microbiologically unsafe: Butt, Drop Ice and Effort.
Advice for Travellers
Travellers to Pakistan are advised to maintain a high standard of food/water precautions and personal hygiene. Carbonated liquids are generally thought to be safe, however, travellers are advised to inspect any bottles of water that are purchased, checking that seals are intact and that the water is visibly clean. Bottled water should be bought from a reliable source whenever possible and the unsafe brands in this report should be avoided.