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Malaysia’s water supply is cleaned and safely treated by water consortiums like Air Selangor before supply enters our homes or commercial areas. Their job is to make sure that water is safe to be consumed BUT the main problem faced by all Malaysians is the occasional brown sediments in the water pipes.

How is our water supply treated?

Water consortiums in Malaysia follows clean water procedures which are also above the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended standards. Sediments are removed and safe quantity of chlorination is added to kill bacteria and viruses like E.coli.

This ensures water is safe to consume from tap.

is tap water safe to drink in malaysia

Why do sediments occur in the water supply pipes?

Much of the water pipes in Malaysia are several decades old and has aged considerably leading to build up of sediments and rust. Damaged and burst pipes also brings in sediments and mud into the water supply line. Hence, why you see ‘tea’ or brown colored water during water cuts.

Tap water is actually safe to consume; BUT it depends on variables such as building water storage tank and water supply pipe conditions.

What are water concessionaire companies doing about the dirty sediment water supply?

As of March 2021, Air Selangor have begun replacing old pipes about 716km long. This will greatly reduce the sediment water supply. Other states are also in process.

What do I need to ensure sediments are removed from my home’s water pipes?

Before water enters your home piping, it should go through an outdoor water filter. Usually, it’s the membrane type or multilayer sand filter. This ensures the bulk of the sediments is removed.

I personally recommend the membrane type.

What about chlorine in the treated water? Is it safe to drink?

Yes, it safe to drink treated water. The level of chlorine is safe to consume following WHO standards and necessary to keep bacteria from growing. But if you’re concerned or sensitive about the taste and smell of chlorine, I recommend getting a tankless water purifier which has sediment filter, carbon filter (for removing chlorine taste and smell) and UF / Nanotech filters for clean mineral water consumption.

What about heavy metals? Do I need to worry about that?

Here’s a counterintuitive statement. Do not worry about heavy metals. Why? Despite some brands marketing that their filters (basically all 0.01 micron size filtration and below) removes heavy metals; the filtration is already done by water consortiums. As mentioned above, Air Selangor and others go above the standards set by WHO for safe drinking water (which includes removal of heavy metals).

Heavy metals are the least of your concerns. Our grandparents’ generation drank from tap water with no issues whatsoever. Just of recent decades there are problems with sediment build up in old pipes and water tanks.

OK. So, what do I need for clean drinking water?

What I recommend is Sediment, Carbon Block and Ultrafiltration or Nanotech (alumina fiber with powder activated carbon). This will remove sediments, chlorine taste and smell and potential virus or bacteria in the water supply.

Adding an outdoor filter for your home to remove majority of the sediments also helps a lot in maintaining water pressure and pipe cleanliness.

References:
https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2018/10/20/malaysias-water-safe-to-drink-straight-from-tap-says-span/1684932
https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2018/10/24/our-water-is-safe-but-our-pipes-may-not-be/
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2021/03/02/air-selangor-replacing-716km-of-old-water-pipes
https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2021/02/03/air-selangor-rm186m-allocated-to-replace-old-pipes-water-meters-and-achieve/1946576

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