BEIJING, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- The quality of drinking water in Beijing meets the country's official standards, said the Ministry of Health on Thursday, refuting doubts about the city's water safety.
The ministry's spokesman Deng Haihua made the remarks at a press conference in response to a report that inappropriate sewage discharge and garbage disposal led to the deteriorating quality of tap water in Beijing.
The report quoted a couple who are water research experts saying that they have been drinking bottled water over the past two decades due to concerns.
"I don't know the professional background of these so-called water experts or their motivation in making those comments to the media, but I'm pretty sure that the water quality in Beijing meets all 106 requirements stipulated in the country's latest monitoring standards," Deng said.
According to the spokesman, the above-mentioned drinking water sanitary standard was revised by the ministry and took effect in July 2012. "It is a high-level and high-quality standard that is compatible with international criteria."
Deng said the ministry last year monitored drinking water in 29,825 spots that covered all municipalities and provincial-level capitals, 91.5 percent of prefecture-level cities and 46.7 percent of counties and county-level cities.
"We've completed the analysis of more than 60,000 water samples so far and the final results will be publicized in a timely manner," Deng said.
However, the spokesman admitted that the country's drinking water safety faces difficulty. He noted weak monitoring capabilities, lack of protection measures and slack supervision.
Deng vowed that the ministry will intensify law enforcement inspections concerning the safety of drinking water and improve the country's monitoring abilities.