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April 13, 2013

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Report highlights issue of water tanks

A FRESH new controversy is brewing with local media reports claiming that tap water may not be clean after all.

With water management authorities struggling with a lack of manpower, property management companies are making the most of it - simply buying mineral water and adding tap water and sending them for quality checks!

Shanghai has about 140,000 water tanks on top of buildings and property management companies are required to clean the tank at least twice a year and have the water sample checked by the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Instead of carrying out the tests themselves, the center only insists that the sample water be delivered to them in a designated bottle without supervising the cleaning process or the sample collection.

The Shanghai East Radio Station reported that many property management companies randomly cleaned the tanks. Some management staff did it by wearing regular shoes or were barefoot. Few others did not clean the tank at all.

"There is no monitoring of the management companies when they clean the tanks," a man surnamed Wang told the radio station yesterday. "Some of them bought mineral water, mixed it with tap water, and sent it to the CDC for checks. No one failed the tests."

Mao Jie, an official from the Shanghai Health Supervision Agency, said that the agency carried out frequent spot checks at residential complexes, but the task was limited due to shortage of staff.

Six property management companies reached by Shanghai Daily yesterday claimed they cleaned the tanks twice a year. They got the bottles from the CDC and sent them samples two or three days after washing the tanks.

Only Shanghai Lujiazui Property Management Company said they ensured the water quality by two methods - testing it themselves and then at other professional water quality testing facilities every year.


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