JIS News

Entities that produce bottled water are being warned that their activities will come under stricter guidelines when the Ministry of Health’s drinking water quality regulations come into effect.
Minister Horace Dalley, who issued this warning while addressing the opening of a stakeholder workshop on the preparation of the regulations held recently at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel, pointed out that “there are many persons all over Jamaica who have found a spring and have labelled the spring the best spring in the world and have started to produce water.
“We [the Ministry of Health] have an obligation to ensure that your water is pure and some of your water is just not pure. You will now have the opportunity to [regularize] your distribution and manufacturing because we will be coming in to ensure that you maintain high standards for our people.”
According to the Minister, the national drinking water quality regulations, which are being developed as part of the Water Sector Policy, aims to ensure that all Jamaican households have access to safe drinking water.”These regulations will . move our requirements from being [Jamaican] standards, World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, to being on par with regulations in other jurisdictions,” he noted.
“It will incorporate infrastructural requirements for example, specifications on input material such as pipelines, fittings, interconnections and back siphonage prevention, treatment modalities and best practices such as training of operators, test methods, sampling, testing, record keeping and reporting requirements and punitive options for non compliance,” he added.
The regulations will also make it mandatory for providers of public drinking water to obtain approval from the Ministry of Health.
The consultative workshop was the first of six scheduled to gather recommendations for the drinking water regulations to be formulated by government.
This meeting attracted various stakeholders from the nation’s water and environmental sectors, which included the four regional health authorities, National Irrigation Commission, Jamaica Bauxite Institute, the Forestry Department, Bureau of Standards, National Water Commission, Ministry of Local Government and Environment, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, among others.

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