PUB calls out Sterra for ‘misleading’ water purifier ad

National water agency PUB has issued a statement calling local water and air purifier brand Sterra’s recent Facebook ad on the quality of Singapore’s tap water “misleading”.

In the ad, Sterra claimed that there is bacteria and algae in our local tap water in order to promote one of its water purifiers. The video showed a glass being filled with water from a tap and then a sample of the water being placed under a microscope. Under the microscope, microorganisms could be seen. 

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The ad was picked up by PUB which told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that it take a “serious view” on water quality. 

“Tap water in Singapore is safe to drink. Every day, water samples are taken from our distribution network across the island and tested,” said PUB. “Our tap water complies with the Environmental Public Health (Water Suitable for Drinking) (No.2) Regulations 2019 and is well within the WHO Guidelines for Drinking-Water Quality. There is no need for any point-of-use (POU) water treatment or filtering devices to further treat the water.”

PUB added that the ad by Sterra was misleading and that it has since issued a number of advisories to Sterra to emphasise that the company should cease such “misleading advertisements”.

“We will be issuing another advisory to Sterra in response to this latest advertisement,” it said. 

The ad was also picked up by a PhD student at the Genomics and Ecology of EuKaryotes (GEEK) Lab at Nanyang Technological University’s Asian School of the Environment. In an Instagram Reel, the student, Clarence Sim debunked Sterra’s claims saying that the water it sampled very likely came from a pond. 

He identified diatom shells and leaf debris which are “common indicators” that the sample is from a

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