The major portion of Malaysia’s piped water comes from surface water bodies like lakes while a small portion comes from groundwater.
Before the water is piped to homes for household uses like drinking, cooking, bathing, and so on, the water is treated. Water treatment helps to remove impurities like heavy metals and disease-causing bacteria from the water.
Most Malaysian homes that use tap water for drinking first boil the water or have water filters installed to purify the water. Other homes use bottled water for drinking and tap water for other purposes. Homes that use a water dispenser get three to five-gallon bottles of purified water delivered to their homes regularly.
Is Malaysian tap water safe for drinking?
The water that comes to the taps in Malaysian homes is supplied from various water treatment plants around the country. At the time of leaving the water treatment plants, this water is safe for consumption. However, in many cases, by the time the water reaches the homes, it has a strange taste and odor. There are times when the color of the water is not clear. In these cases, the water is not safe for drinking.
The reason the purified water from the treatment plants gets contaminated is because of what happens to in on its way to the houses. Many of the older pipes that are used to supply water are made of iron and have started to corrode. The corrosion from the pipes gets into the water, affecting the taste, smell, color, and the overall quality. Corroded pipes could cause heavy metals to leach into the tap water which makes it unsafe for consumption.
In places where the water remains stagnant in the pipes for an extended period of time, the water develops a bad odor. Stagnant water also gets contaminated with disease-causing bacteria and other types of pathogens which makes it unsafe for drinking.
While there are many homes where the tap water is potable, there are also many homes that need to add extra levels of purification to the water before drinking.
1. Boiling water
It is common in many Malaysian homes to boil water before drinking. Boiling water is good to kill germs and also get rid of chlorine and fluoride in the water.
However, the water needs to be boiled for at least fifteen minutes for the effects to take place. While boiling water is effective in killing germs, it is not the best option for water that is contaminated with heavy metals. Other methods of water purification have to be explored if tap water is found to have heavy metals like lead, arsenic, iron, and so on.
2. Reverse osmosis water
Osmosis is a naturally occurring process where water of a lower concentration passes through a semi-permeable membrane towards the water of a higher concentration. The migration will continue to happen until both liquids reach the same concentration also known as equilibrium. A semi-permeable membrane is a membrane that has fine pores large enough to allow smaller molecules to pass through but too small for bigger molecules. The membrane can be compared to a sieve that lets fine flour pass through but holds the lumps and impurities back.
During reverse osmosis, water with a higher concentration of minerals is forced through the semi-permeable membrane in order to sieve out the impurities like bacteria, mineral salts, and metals. When passed through the membrane, the water gets purified and is of better quality. Hard water can be made soft through reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis is a method of purifying water at the molecular level. Water that has undergone reverse osmosis is safe for drinking. You could read up on our Jantzen water to know more about our reverse osmosis system.
3. Mineral water
Mineral water is water that is obtained from springs. The water that comes from beneath the earth is naturally filtered and pure of contamination. Mineral water gets its name because of the large number of mineral salts dissolved in the water including calcium salts and sulfur compounds. The taste of mineral water varies depending on the salts present.
Big mineral water companies collect the spring water and bottle it for sale. The companies that supply the water need to check the quality of the water before distribution to ensure that the water is, in fact, safe for drinking. Mineral water is believed to have healing properties due to the minerals dissolved in it. According to the United States FDA, water is classified as mineral water if it has at least 250 parts per million naturally dissolved minerals. Learn more about Jantzen mineral water here.
4. Distilled water
The process of distilling water requires the water to be heated to boiling after which the water vapor is collected and cooled down to water again. When the water is boiled, the disease-causing microorganisms get killed off, and minerals and other contaminants do not get carried by the steam but get left behind. The water that results from collecting the steam is therefore of an extremely pure grade. Distilled water lacks all minerals and is devoid of any taste but is safe for drinking.
Distillation is a useful process when it comes to converting sea water into salt-free drinking water. Jantzen Distilled Water is available in 19L that best fits into Jantzen’s full-sized and table top dispensers. Contact us now if you are interested at our Distilled Water.
5. Filtered water
A water filter is made of a porous substance that allows water to pass through but holds back impurities like particulate matter. The pores of a water filter are larger than that of a semi-permeable membrane, so mineral salts dissolved in the water are allowed to pass through, but larger particles like sand are held back. There are different grades of water filters of different pore size. Microfilters can remove smaller particles like bacteria from the water. Activated charcoal filters can remove some amount of chemical contamination but not all.
Water passed through a water filter is safe for drinking provided there are no heavy metals dissolved in the water. Water filters work best with tap water that is high in the particulate matter but has no harmful chemical contamination. Read about Jantzen water filter here to learn more.
Which water type work best for me?
All these types of water are available for human consumption in Malaysia. Based on the area that a person lives and the quality of tap water, individuals can decide what type of purification methods works best for their drinking water.