Public warned about bogus drinking-water filters

Labor Ministry’s commissioner of standardization says consumers should make sure suppliers are reliable, have a physical address and comply with gov't standards.

By SHARON WROBEL
March 15, 2010 23:35
2 minute read.
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dripping faucet water crisis 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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The public should be on the alert for companies that sell drinking-water treatment systems for domestic use that don’t meet government standards, the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry said Monday.

“We saw the need to warn the public after conducting tests of several companies’ drinking-water treatment systems for home use, especially ones that sell water filters via the Internet or by telephone,” Grisha Deitch, the ministry’s commissioner of standardization, told The Jerusalem Post in a telephone interview. “We found cases of drinking-water filter providers selling their products via the Internet or by telephone that could not be traced to a physical address, which means that consumer complaints cannot be dealt with, and it makes supervision impossible.”

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The ministry is not against Internet purchases, she said, but consumers should be careful when buying drinking-water treatment systems and make sure the suppliers are reliable, have a physical address and comply with government standards.

“I am calling upon the public not to buy water filtration and purification systems that were not tested by the Israel Standards Institution,” Deitch said.

Even though the Health Ministry says local tap water complies with accepted standards, manufacturers and importers of water-treatment systems in recent years have been saying the drinking water is of poor quality, and the public has purchased thousands of residential drinking-water treatment systems.

The Israeli Standard SI 1505, Part 1, Drinking Water Treatment Systems for Domestic Use – Filtration and Purification System was enacted in 1999 to regulate companies that sell water-treatment systems.

The standard covers packaging and labeling requirements, manufacturers’ declarations of the manner of filtration or purification, materials and means of filtration or purification, test methods and requirements for electrical safety, hydraulic function, filtration and purification efficiency, including microbiological tests.

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The Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry has published recommendations for consumers interested in buying drinking-water treatment systems for domestic use:

• Firstly, consumers should make sure that imported and locally manufactured products have labels that indicate the origin and manufacturer, including company address, model name and trade number.

• Secondly, water-filter and purification products must have detailed information on the systems’ properties.

• Thirdly, the products should have clear instructions for usage and installation.

The Israel Standards Institution provides a list of water filter and purification companies that comply with the SI 1505 standard, which can be viewed on its Web site.

The Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry is launching an awareness campaign in the local media, issuing warnings in Hebrew, Russian and Arabic.

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