PUB: Boiled tap water in S'pore smelling like pandan is safe to drink

Use it to cook ah balling.

Belmont Lay | July 22, 2020, 05:58 PM

Some residents in Singapore are smelling the sweet scent of pandan coming from their boiled tap water, raising the prospect that people here might be hallucinating.

However, National water agency PUB told The Straits Times on July 22 that the cause of the unusual scent is an organic compound in the water and that the water is safe for consumption.

PUB said it has received feedback on the faint pandan smell in boiled tap water from residents residing in Pasir Ris, Yishun and Tampines.

PUB said it is looking into the matter, and that preliminary investigations have been carried out.

"(The compound) may be detected by customers with a keen sense of smell or palate, but is otherwise without any adverse health effects in trace amounts," a PUB spokesman told ST.

"The water supply remains safe to consume."

Laboratory tests of water samples found trace levels of less than 10 parts per billion of tetrahydrofuran (THF), a type of organic compound, in the water.

The water was taken from affected homes and water mains.

Malaysia too

Singaporeans are not alone though.

Malaysian media also reported on July 22 that residents in Johor Baru having noticed a weird scent in their tap water.

PUB said its investigations so far have shown that the smell appears to be linked to water imported from Malaysia, which is derived from Johor River.

PUB said the "affected water" has been "isolated" and it is working with the Malaysian authorities.

Those in Singapore can request for water bags by calling the PUB hotline on 1800-225-5782.

Top photos via Unsplash