Two food establishments at Pulau Ubin now have safe treated water

NG JING YNG Today Online 31 Jan 16;

SINGAPORE — With the installation of water treatment systems at food establishments at Pulau Ubin, two food operators now have safe treated water that they will be able to use for the preparation of retail food and drinks.

Last month, the National Environment Agency (NEA) had required that water from the wells of Pulau Ubin be boiled for at least a minute before being used for the preparation of retail food and drinks. This is because tests of samples of tap water at the island showed traces of E.coli bacteria and total coliform bacteria that could result in symptoms like nausea, diarrhoea and fever.

But after the installation of water treatment systems at three of the seven licensed retail food establishments at Pulau Ubin earlier this month, two of the three operations now have treated water that can be used to prepare food and drinks. The operators have also told authorities that they will ensure the regular maintenance of the water treatment system.

This initiative to install water treatment systems at retail food establishments at Pulau Ubin was mooted by the Siglap Citizens’ Consultative Committee and non-governmental organisation, Corporate Citizen Foundation. National water agency PUB provided technical advice on the installation of the water treatment systems at these retail food establishments.

The seven-step water treatment system, costing about S$7,000, starts with a strainer that removes large particles and ends with a UV light steriliser to inactivate viruses and other micro organisms.


For now, these retail food establishments with safe treated water will be able to use this option instead of boiling raw well water while the NEA will continue to track the usability of this treated water.

Maintenance includes daily flushing every evening and cleaning the filters every week. The cartridges used in the water treatment system have also to be changed once around six months to a year. Maintenance cost is estimated to be about S$500 to S$600 every year which will be borne by the food operators.

Authorities also said that they are currently exploring installing water treatment units on Pulau Ubin to provide potable water for residents and the public.

Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Maliki Osman, member of Parliament for East Coast GRC, said that this initiative was made possible with the cooperation of different stakeholders, both from the public and private sector.

Water treatment systems installed at Ubin food stalls
The systems were installed as an interim measure to address concerns about the quality of raw well water on the island.
Hetty Musfirah Abdul Khamid, Channel NewsAsia 31 Jan 16;

SINGAPORE: Three of the seven licensed food stalls at Pulau Ubin will no longer have to boil well water before using it to cook, after water treatment systems were installed at their premises.

The systems, which costs about S$7,000 each and were sponsored by construction firm HSL Constructor, were installed at the three stalls – Cheong Lian Yuen, Sim Lim Huat and Season Live Seafood – as an interim measure to address concerns about the quality of raw well water on the island.

In December last year, NEA issued a notice to all licensed retail food establishments on Pulau Ubin to boil well water for at least a minute before using it to prepare food and drinks for sale. Alternatively, they are required to use bottled water or water from the mainland.

The move came about after testing of samples of tap water drawn from wells showed the presence E. Coli bacteria and total coliform bacteria.

Since the systems were installed, the treated water have been found to be free of the contaminants, NEA said.

The initiative to install the water treatment systems was coordinated by the Siglap Citizens' Consultative Committee and the NGO- Corporate Citizen Foundation, with support from government agencies.

Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Dr Maliki Osman said there are plans to install a fourth water treatment system at another food stall in the coming weeks.

He said the food stalls have seen business dropping by about 20 to 30 per cent, and he hopes the measure will restore public confidence.

The stalls have agreed to maintain the system regularly to ensure it continues to perform as designed. Taps will also be set up to allow other residents on the island to have access to the treated water. The treated water however, will not be accessible from taps in public restrooms.

- CNA/cy

Water treatment systems installed at Ubin food stalls
The systems were installed as an interim measure to address concerns about the quality of raw well water on the island.
Hetty Musfirah Abdul Khamid, Channel NewsAsia 31 Jan 16;

SINGAPORE: Three of the seven licensed food stalls at Pulau Ubin will no longer have to boil well water before using it to cook, after water treatment systems were installed at their premises.

The systems, which costs about S$7,000 each and were sponsored by construction firm HSL Constructor, were installed at the three stalls – Cheong Lian Yuen, Sim Lim Huat and Season Live Seafood – as an interim measure to address concerns about the quality of raw well water on the island.

In December last year, NEA issued a notice to all licensed retail food establishments on Pulau Ubin to boil well water for at least a minute before using it to prepare food and drinks for sale. Alternatively, they are required to use bottled water or water from the mainland.

The move came about after testing of samples of tap water drawn from wells showed the presence E. Coli bacteria and total coliform bacteria.

Since the systems were installed, the treated water have been found to be free of the contaminants, NEA said.

The initiative to install the water treatment systems was coordinated by the Siglap Citizens' Consultative Committee and the NGO - Corporate Citizen Foundation, with support from government agencies.

The aim is to install it in four out of seven food establishments on the island and allow residents to tap on it eventually. Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Dr Maliki Osman said there are plans to install a fourth water treatment system at another food stall in the coming weeks.

"We pay attention to the first four, because they are the major providers of food and water," he said. "For the moment, we have already installed three and we are intending to install one more at another food establishment.

So we will have finally four systems. And for each of the system we will provide one additional tap for the others in the neighbourhood to be able to tap on. What we are saying here is that we have provided an interim solution to the food establishments - so that the visitors who come to Pulau Ubin, whether they want to consume food or drinks at the establishment that we have provided this facility, will feel more confident."

He said the food stalls have seen business dropping by about 20 to 30 per cent, and he hopes the measure will restore public confidence.

The water treatment systems are being sponsored by a construction company - HSL Constructor. Each system costs about S$7,000. The stalls have agreed to maintain the system regularly to ensure it continues to perform as designed. This includes changing the filters every six months. Maintenance costs are expected to range between S$500 and S$600 annually.

Retailers say they don't mind bearing the costs.

"This system will help restore our business,” said Koh Siew Hong, who runs a seafood restaurant on the island. “I find it okay to pay S$500 or S$600 a year because residents here will benefit. I have confidence in this system."

Dr Maliki added that the Government is looking at longer-term solutions to provide residents with better access to potable water. Taps will also be set up to allow other residents on the island to have access to the treated water. The treated water however, will not be accessible from taps in public restrooms.

- CNA/cy

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