Next Article in Journal
Microclimatic Impact Analysis of Multi-Dimensional Indicators of Streetscape Fabric in the Medium Spatial Zone
Previous Article in Journal
Depressive Symptoms After PCB Exposure: Hypotheses for Underlying Pathomechanisms via the Thyroid and Dopamine System
Article Menu
Issue 6 (March-2) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Standards Compliance and Health Implications of Bottled Water in Malawi

Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Department of Water Resources Management and Development, Mzuzu University, P/Bag 201 Mzuzu, Malawi
Department of Agricultural Research Services, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Chitedze Agricultural Research Station, P.O. Box 158 Lilongwe, Malawi
Faculty of Science, Technology and Innovations, Department of Energy Systems, Mzuzu University, P/Bag 201 Mzuzu Malawi
Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University, 22100 Lund, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(6), 951;
Received: 6 February 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 12 March 2019 / Published: 16 March 2019
PDF [1638 KB, uploaded 16 March 2019]


Many people around the globe prefer bottled water especially in developing countries, where tap water is not drinkable. This study investigated the quality of bottled drinking water sold in Lilongwe city, Malawi. Compliance with Malawi Standards (MS) 560 (2004) for natural mineral water, MS 699 (2004) for bottled water and the World Health Organisation guidelines for drinking water were examined. Bottled water from different 12 brands was purchased from local stores and analysed for its pH, total dissolved solids (TDS), EC, turbidity, Ca, Mg, Na, K, Fe, NO3, Cl, F, SO42−, hardness, alkalinity, and Escherichia coli. A Hierarchical Cluster Analysis (HCA) resulted in two clusters in which most of the brands (92%, n = 12) belonged to one group. The two clusters and significant differences (ANOVA p < 0.05) in chemical compositions among the brands were attributed to the variations in the water source and the treatment processes. The results showed that 10 brands did not comply with the MS 699 (2004) turbidity standard (1 NTU) and the pH of one of the brands was below the minimum MS 699 (2004) standard of 6.50. This research showed that 12 brands had bottle labelling errors and discrepancies in chemical composition. The article highlighted the need for a strict inspection from the responsible governmental ministry to improve water quality and to adjust water bottles’ labels according to water characteristics. View Full-Text
Keywords: physico-chemical; microbiological; water quality; food safety; Lilongwe; Malawi physico-chemical; microbiological; water quality; food safety; Lilongwe; Malawi

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Chidya, R.C.G.; Singano, L.; Chitedze, I.; Mourad, K.A. Standards Compliance and Health Implications of Bottled Water in Malawi. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 951.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top