Many private water distributors forgo the expensive testing necessary to be licensed by the Health Ministry. (The Daily Star/Meris Lutz)
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Tanker trucks of water, a common sight around the capital toward August, are already lining up outside private wells as water supplies dwindle before the summer has even peaked following an unusually dry winter.Many private water providers also collect water outside the city to sell to urban residents.Ziad Khayat, project manager at the Lebanese Center for Water Conservation and Management, said most wells in the Beirut area suffered from seawater intrusion, but seemed less concerned about the possibility of sewage contamination in the capital.He added, however, that the public should not assume that the deeper the well, the cleaner the water, because most aquifers in Lebanon are of porous limestone. Farajalla and Khayat gave several recommendations for the public as the summer months are sure to exacerbate the existing water shortage.First and foremost, homes that do receive government water should do their best to conserve, as this water has been treated and is subjected to regular testing. Second, those who are obliged to buy water from private networks should know the exact source of the water and ask that it be tested. Ahmad Harake, owner of Water and Sewage Conditioning Project, has seen his fair share of dirty wells and faulty sewage containers in his line of work selling water purification systems.
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