The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has ordered water-bottling companies to adhere strictly to all hygiene and environmental regulations.
The ministry added that all municipalities should monitor compliance so that consumers get clean water.
Bottling companies should only operate if they are licensed by the concerned municipal authorities. The operating conditions state that the factory site should be away from locations that produce foul odors, smoke and dust, and safe from ground water and other pollutants. The factories should also not inconvenience or disturb residents in the locality, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
In addition, bottling factories should not make any alteration in the permitted space or change the purpose of the factory without the prior permission of the municipality and should not be combined with another factory unless specifically mentioned in the license. The factory should not be used for residential purposes either.
The factory building should be constructed with bricks, cement and have a concrete roof that can be cleaned easily.
The walls should be coated with emulsion paints and floors should wash easily. They should also be resistant to industrial disinfectants and other cleaning chemicals, and guarded against the entry of insects including fleas and mice. The factory has to be perfectly clean and have rust resistant machinery. The location should be free of waste, and insecticides should not be sprayed inside the factory. Workers should wear hygienic clothing according to the specifications for bottling factories.
All the devices including pumps and bottling machines should be washed and disinfected with steam and appropriate chlorine solution before washing with water on a daily basis. General maintenance is of prime importance, the ministry has stated.
The factory's water tank should be made of rust resistant material, cleaned regularly and securely covered.
The trucks carrying the water should also be regularly cleaned and tested for germs.