Tests confirm contamination fears at Dubai community

Remraam residents raise concerns over quality of water
Tests confirm contamination fears at Dubai community
By Beatrice Thomas
Thu 26 Dec 2013 08:49 AM

Residents have expressed fresh fears about the drinking water at Dubai Properties’ Remraam Community after leaked test results showed Bromate levels 23 times higher than allowable health limits.

Confirming residents’ contamination claims, testing by the Dubai Municipality last week of tank water at Remraam found Bromate levels of 239 micrograms per litre – well above the public health limit of a maximum 10 micrograms/L.

Bromate, according to US health authority literature, is formed when ozone used to disinfect drinking water reacts with naturally occurring bromide found in source water.

While not harmful in small doses, ingested in bigger doses it can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain, with more severe cases linked to kidney problems.

As revealed by Arabian Business last week, Remraam residents have raised concerns that water at the community was making them sick, with several residents citing children with high fever and nausea, pets with diarrhea as well as residents with skin rashes and headaches.

Late on December 10, a spokesperson from property management company Taziz said in response to inquiries that it had emptied the water tanks at Remraam and that Dubai Municipality had carried out inspections “and are satisfied with the outcome”.

However, the test results, obtained by Arabian Business, show the water sample with an excessive Bromate level was taken only that morning.

Tazis has not responded to questions about the test results.

In 2007 the LA Department of Water was forced to drain Silver Lake Reservoir and Elysian Reservoir following bromate contamination. It was also the reason that Coca Cola in 2004 had to recall its entire Dasani bottled water range in the UK.

"This is very worrying news, firstly the petrol smell with the water and now this,” a Remraam resident, who did not want his name published, said.

“We should not need to worry about if the water is affecting our health and we deserve some answers about what is going on with the supply and if it is safe for our families to drink and wash in.

“I am concerned for the safety of my family at this moment and am starting to have second thoughts about the decision we made to come here."

Remraam is located between the Jebel Ali Free Zone and Arabian Ranches.

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority has said its water supply, which was to the meter only, was safe and an investigation found strong fumes were the result of a “petroleum-based substance” used to paint a pump room.

It said it was up to Dubai Properties to carry out environmental checks.

“Since the problem arose, we and the relevant authorities have conducted independent tests on the water at Remraam.  The test results confirm that the water is safe for use,” Dubai Properties said in a statement to Arabian Business.

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