The quality of Qatar’s water? Is it safe?

This is something that I’ve been talking about for quite a while and it’s something to be concerned about.
The water in many places in Qatar isn’t healthy. I don’t mean that it’s not drinkable, but it’s the cause for bad skin, dryness, hair loss, and even damaging to pipes.

I wonder if the government inspects any of the towers and does water sampling to ensure that we’re all living with healthy water. People often talk about the calcium level of the water being quite high. You know it’s high when you can’t even scrub the limescale off of glass! You can judge by yourself by looking at your faucets or around your sink for white scaling. High calcium content damages the skin and hair, that’s for sure, but I’m going to talk about something even more worrying. Rust/Dirty water.

I’ve recently been told (by a source that prefers to be anonymous) that there are construction companies that are using the wrong types of pipes. They should be using anti-corossion coated pipes. Basically, metal pipes (like any pipe) rust from the inside. They actually rust and get damaged even worse in our type of environment. This means you could be drinking rust…

Now I’m a sensitive person. So I decided to buy a 10,000 Riyal water filteration system from Japan (I know, it’s a lot). It’s state of the art and supposed to last 3 years. It’s attached to a secondary filter which is replaced every month and a half to two months.

Now take a look at this picture. I don’t need to say much.

photo

See that transparent tube with that brown sponge in the middle? That’s what it looks like after just a 10 days! In the center, that super white roll is what the filter used to look like. Now this is quite scary to me. Something that’s supposed to last MUCH longer, turns a filthy brown in just a short period of time. I’m concerned for people who don’t have filters..

Think about this for a second… washing your face, your hair, brushing your teeth, or possibly event drinking this… This is the result of an apartment that’s only a few years old.

I wonder if anything is being done? How harmful is it?

So my question is, how many other people are concerned about the water in Qatar?

 

  • http://www.facebook.com/SmintoAntony Sminto Antony

    I’m so gonna SUE Qatar for my Hair Loss.. :(

  • cestmaguerre

    This is a very real issue, esp. with drinking water. Our family friend from Qatar has serious kidney problems with his kidneys functioning at only 40% capacity and he’s still young. Increased incidence of kidney stones in the population too. I wonder if there’s any medical studies being done on the subject..

  • Mrs Yasir

    I have also noticed a tingling smell in water which causes itching in my nose if i m using water for a long period e.g washing dishes. Hair loss and dry skin are other problems faced by every lady in Qatar.

  • Guest

    How about writing this piece to THE PENINSULA? They could cover the subject in detail and bring about some change.

  • Jena

    Ew that is just disgusting. Now i’m having second thoughts of whether to shower or not. Haha

  • http://www.facebook.com/Debs4colleges Debbie McCullough

    I’m concerned. I’ve noticed that since I have been in Qatar,but not only Qatar, its this way in UAE as well..Hair falling out among so many people, showers that actually hurt if you have an open cut and all the corrosion around the faucets leads me to believe that the water is far from being safe, we are ingesting this into our bodies while we shower/bathe,brush our teeth and wash dishes, Its in our clothing from washing them in this water. There is a saying, never put something on our body that we would not put in our body, well something to think about. I also think its all about money and this is why so many shortcuts are taken while building apartments,villas and buildings, not to mention paying for the cheapest laborers,which are not truly experienced or educated enough to know about safety and lastly is the parts and building supplies.most likely coming from China,defective and dangerous, just to save on cost. I would never drink the water, but I do take my showers in it, this is not by choice, The water smells bad, it smells like sewer. I know it’s the water that has made me sick in the past and lord knows what other terrible sickness will be coming our way in the near future because of the water here. This country needs to focus on safety of the people (locals and expats) and start paying attention to the health concerns we all have.

  • LovinThatI’mGone.

    I believe the environmental health faculty at CNA-Q have all the tools you need to assess the water properly. Have them do it to get a rough idea. If it comes back as bad find a company somewhere in the world that specializes in this and get a formal report done, then submit THAT to one of the newspapers. It will have more weight.

  • Jango

    The most likely cause of the filter like that is either after a dust storm, or his own apartments water tanks, you should open up your tanks and look inside, the hatch on top is easy to take off, there will be dust inside and sediment, Kahramaa cant take that out of the reservoirs. The water that comes from the Power Plants is under strict guidelines and contrary to popular belief, Kahramaa and the Ministry of Environment have the most stringent guidelines in the Gulf. The pipelines to the Kahramaa reservoirs are made of GRP not metal, but i am not sure of the distribution system they are changing this at this moment.
    If your tank is relatively clean a simple filter will make it safe to drink, there is absolutely no need to put an expensive system in, as for excess calcium, unless someone else is putting it in, its not coming from the plants.
    As for bottled water where do you think that comes from, unless you are buying Saudi mineral or Evian, its from bottling plants in Qatar using the same water in your taps and adding a few extra minerals for taste.

  • amnesia

    sadly most people living in Towers or the Pearl area do not have access to water tanks.
    I’m very sure that the water condition is very low in Qatar.
    Simply scrubbing my face and washing it causes it to feel a bit of a burn.

    There is also NO regulation as to the type of pipes used to feed the water from a reservoir to the home and within the house.

    As for bottled water, it’s not simply adding minerals and bottling it. We did a visit to a water processing and bottling facility and they have amazing filtration.

    Either way, I prefer to go with water like highland spring.

  • amnesia

    good idea

  • erratic

    Wimps! A bit of sand in the water is not going to hurt you. Neither is rust. You probably have things like silica and iron oxide in your vitamin tablets and toothpaste. Humans and other creatures have been drinking out of puddles and eating muddy food for thousands of years without problems.

    The phenolphalates leaching out of plastic bottles into your fancy water (increases in the sun!) are probably more damaging than a few p.p.m. of mud.

    Don’t believe the hype that all bottled water is automatically better, a number are no better than tap water. There are tests online that you can look at. There’s a restaurant at the Shangri la in Oman that has a water menu you can go and do taste comparisons at.

  • Debbie

    This filter is a good thing to have for sure,but what about the people that can not afford such a filter? Also what about those who live in apartments and not villa’s? Living in a villa, you can open up your tanks,inspect and do the needed as Jango stated, this is not possible in an apartment building.I have noticed also that some bottled water taste lie plastic and is just about the same as what is coming out of our taps, this water should never be bottled and sold to anyone! Water and air are the only elements that sustain human habitation and both of these are beyond dangerous and unhealthy limits I’m sure. Qatar is developing fast and in these developments are hospitals, which I am sure will be full all the time with sick people with gastric (stomach diseases) and respiratory illnesses.Hair clinics will capitalize on more hair loss customers too. This country is very capable of developing a safe healthy country, it’s one of the most riches countries in the world, the question is, do they know about these issues? do they care about these issues and if so, what measures have they started to correct the pollution and water hazards? Think also about the children that were born or brought here, what does the future hold for them health wise?

  • tintin

    thanks for the wake up message…im thinking of buying filter now

  • Lischen M

    This is my third year but I have never drank tap water, first day I arrived in Doha from ever cold Ireland was too warm for me. Went straight to the tap, drank water and the next morning I was sick for a week. I was advised to used bottled water for drinking and cooking, so my guess is that maybe the water is not that safe after all

  • piki

    , why don t you send the water to a lab and ask if it SAFE, natural water is ful of mineral that makes it not TOTALLY CLEAR or do you think teh sugar is white too in naturall condition??? by the way the milk comes from the cows not from the supermarket da !!!

  • amnesia

    Lets all play the sarcastic game. Milk comes from a variety animals, you can find water in coke, the air we breath isn’t just oxygen.

    Now that THAT is out of the way.

    I recommend reading what I wrote again. Nobody says that tap water should be ultra pure. I’m saying that the amount of impurities in our water is too high.
    The filter which should last months, lasts weeks.

    As for the lab, happy to sent it to a lab. Tell me where these labs are on Qatar that will take the time to test the water for me.

    Go ahead, drink the water to your hearts content. It’s your freedom and your health.

  • Guest

    Nowadays I put off showering for as long as possible to avoid getting covered in the water which has given me severe hair-loss and noticeable rashes directly after contact. I’m in my twenties with a healthy diet and have developed a calcium oxalate kidney stone…. I believe this is also due to the water. I previously lived in Jordan where I drank water from the tap and from the well and never had any health issues before, so I am convinced there is something very wrong in the water-treatment system here in Qatar.

    There is nothing more important than health, and so I strongly agree with below comments that this should be raised to the media and to the local authorities responsible!

Freedom of Expression

    Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which the Qatari Government is a signatory of states: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any medias and regardless of any frontiers.

    The Emiri Decision Number 86 of the year 2007 on the establishment of the Doha Free Information Centre marked yet another step towards establishing a State of rights and freedom of speech. The decision stipulated that the Centre be a non-profit organization, headquartered in Doha City, and have the authority to establish other affiliated centres inside and outside Qatar. It is worth mentioning that His Highness the Emir issued a decision in 1998 annulling the ministry of information, giving birth to a new era of freedom of speech where censorship was removed from local media.