3.0 technology are still improving. This is due to


            Water is a basic necessity for human
beings. A man required at least 3.3L – 4.5Lof water everyday to keep the body
hydrated and for better body function. Even to this day, the system to supply
clean water from the source to humans and water treatment technology are still
improving. This is due to the abundant source of contamination even after
treating the water. This leads citizen to have bad perception on tap water in
their home and eventually installed a filter machine in their homes or even
bought potable water (bottle water). Water vending machine is a type of filter
machine just like the ones at home only that it is for commercial used. Most
water vending machines claim to use reverse osmosis (RO) filtering system that
are able to filter even the smallest impurities. Consumers those who cannot
afford a home filter machine, would seem that water vending machine is a good
choice. Especially when the price of water can reach as low as 10 cents per
litre. According to a news report written by Jesselyn Pek Yen Lee, a test was
carried out on water vending machines by Forum Air Malaysia (FAM) concluded
that many water samples from these vending machines were contaminated with E-coli
and Clostridium Perfringens. This is the motivation of this study. It is
to determine the water quality of water vending machines in Nilai, Negeri
Sembilan, Malaysia.

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            The treatment, distribution or supply system of water from the
source to consumers may vary in each country. In Malaysia, municipal tap water
is supplied by domestic water systems. The distribution and quality assurance
of treated water that are supplied to consumer and the maintenance of infrastructure
are done by several local authorities. For example, “Syarikat Bekalan Air
Selangor” (Syabas) and “Syarikat Air Negeri Sembilan” (SAINS) are private
companies that are responsible for monitoring and supplying clean water to
residents in Selangor and Negeri Sembilan respectively. Although, these local
authorities have work hard to supply clean water to the residents, and their
services are continuously improved, there are some reports that are against it.
According to the reports, it seems that in spite of the drinking water quality
met, somehow, the water that comes out of the tap are contaminated with
bacteria (P. Payment et al., 1993) contain high concentration of heavy metals (Hasbiyana,
2008) and bisphenol A (V.A Santhi et al., 2012).

            P. Payment et al suggest bacterial
growth occurred in stagnated household pipes can caused the regrowth of
bacterial and eventually contaminates the water. The study concluded as, the
study revealed that all microorganisms and known pathogens in the distributed
water had been removed during treatment and had met water quality standards. Thus,
they were taken aback, by the numbers of gastrointestinal illnesses in the
community studied. The study also concluded that there were no relationship
between the gastrointestinal illnesses due to tap water consumption and
drinking water quality parameters. In addition, another study on the sample of
tap water from industrial, agricultural, and residential areas in Shah Alam,
Selangor was carried out by Hasbiyana. The result showed that all heavy metals
concentration was above the max value allowed by the National Drinking Water
Quality Standard (NDWQS).



and journals regarding the consumers’ perception toward tap water are adequate.
A case study on Malaysian household’ drinking water practices (Aini et al.,
2007), the exploratory study showed that a majority of 70% of the respondents
rated the quality of tap water supplied to their homes were poor and 16% rated
it very poor. The study also includes the reasons for choosing the rating
mentioned, it was found due to the water organoleptics. The unpleasant colour,
odour and smell were the main problems with their tap water. Another study carried
out by Miguel F. Doria agrees the same. Thus, in order to adopt with this condition,
about 85% installed domestic water filters in their homes, 41% boil the water
and 17% chose to buy bottled water.

            A study that investigate the
patterns of consumption and the perception on the intake of drinking water in
Klang Valley, Malaysia also gave quite similar result. It was found that mostly,
the interviewed subjects also rate the tap water as, low to acceptable
qualities with the score of 2 – 3, while bottled water is rated as moderate to
high quality with the score of 3 – 4. Besides, the study indicates that adults
from 31 – 40 years old are more likely to drink bottled water rather than younger
(21 – 30 years old) and older adults (above 50 years old). In addition, adults
below 30 years old have the perception that tap water have been well treated
and monitored by local authorities prior to its distribution. While this is
true, contamination in tap water occurred spontaneously as the growth of
microbial from water pipe corrosion takes place. Furthermore, chlorine content
in tap water was also argued. Last but not least, TV commercials and
advertisements also contributed to the factors of drinking bottled water over
tap water.


on a water quality research (Hashim and Yusop, 2016), that was conducted on
water vending machines in Parit Raja, Batu Pahat, Johor, the study took water
samples from eight locations in Parit Raja area. The samples were evaluated
according to their quality in terms of physical, chemical and biological parameters.
Then, this includes, heavy metal content, total organic carbon, turbidity,
total dissolved solids (TDS), total colony forming unit (CFU) and presence of E.coli.
Meanwhile, another study that is much earlier than this, was conducted at
Los Angeles, California (J, Schillinger, 2004). There were a few parameters
that was evaluated that differs from the Hashim and Yusop’s study. For example,
they also take into account the temperature, chlorine content, fungal growth, Pseudomonas
spp. Pseudomonas aeruginosa and both heterotrophic plate counts.





Nilai is a fast developing town located in Seremban District,
Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. Nilai is occupied with students from all over the world
as there are a few well-known educational institutions including, Nilai
University, INTI International University, Manipal Intenational University and
Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM). This study is carried out to
investigate the quality of drinking water supplied by drinking water vending
machines in Nilai area. A total of 64 samples of vended water were collected
from eight water vending machines in Nilai area. From eight selected locations,
two of the vending machines are located in USIM residential college, KK1,
another three are located in Acacia Avenue, and another three more in USIM residential
college in Desa Jati, Sutera Indah and Nilai University respectively. Samples
will be collect twice a week for a month monitoring (January to February 2015)
with triplicate samples for each sampling. All vending machine are identified to
use the same filtering system, which is reverse osmosis (RO) system.

Samples will be collected in a 1 L plastic container which will be
preserved in a 1:1 nitric acid solution for 2 days and will be rinsed with
mili-Q ultrapure water (Milipore, US) prior to use. The vended water samples
will be collected in the morning in the container and sealed and transported to
the laboratory in a cold container with temperature about 4 to 6° C. Samples will be filtered through 0.45 mm pore diameter membrane filters and undergone pH adjustment with
nitric acid to pH 2 using HACH pH meter. Preservatives are unnecessary because
all testing will be carried out within five days from the day of collection.

Samples are then analysed for heavy metal content which are cadmium
(Cd), arsenic (As), lead (Pb), chromium (Cr) and nickel (Ni) using Inductive
Couple Plasma- Mass Spectrometer. Total organic carbon is determined using
Total Organic Carbon Analyzer, turbidity with turbidity meter and total
dissolved solid (TDS) by SenION 5 (HACH, US). Total colony forming unit (CFU)
is determined at 37°C
and 24 hours incubation for the coliforms and E.coli test.