The Ministry of Health of Turkey has announced that it has discovered 15 bottled water companies that are selling unsanitary water in violation of government health codes, in a written statement it released on Friday.
The ministry stated that it had tested over 1,000 water samples from treatment plants and distributors and discovered that 15 companies contained unsanitary levels of bacteria. The ministry added that they are continuing to investigate and that they will announce any other finds, Today's Zaman reported.
Health Minister Recep Akdag said they had taken samples from both companies' water treatment plants and distributors.
He stated: "We took samples from 100 different spring water treatment plants. We are inspecting and analyzing them carefully. The problems found with the two groups of samples are different. The contamination of treatment plant samples stems from the companies' practices, whereas the problems found with samples from distributors are a result of how the water is stored. People shouldn't worry; we will announce the names of companies selling unclean water."
The ministry also emphasized that they have temporarily halted operations at companies that were found to be selling unsanitary water and that they will be fined. Companies found to have violated health codes will only be allowed to resume production and sales if they can prove that they have addressed all concerns both at their water treatment plants and with distributors.
Distributors who were found to have violated health codes will be listed on www.thsk.gov.tr. Five days ago the ministry announced five other brands of bottled water that were found to be unsanitary, namely, Buzada, Erpınar, Alps, Kervansaray and Yalısu.
The government has warned companies against compromising on the quality of water in order to meet the high demand resulting from sweltering summer temperatures. It also underlined that random inspections will continue and that if companies are found to be in violation of health codes, the ministry will take steps to protect consumers.