Since the establishment of CROSSLINK in 1986, the company has been very active and focused in the design and construction of various water purification system for numerous industries.
On the job, two of the many encounters with the doubtful quality of our city water triggered the company’s decision to move into the domestic market. Before these incidents, we assumed that household filter was not necessary, as our municipal water supply was adequate for direct consumption.
After so many years, I still wonder if the residents had already been supplied with the barely-treated water before our system was installed, considering that the water supply source was scarce prior to my arrival. Also, had the JE outbreak not occurred and attracted media attention, would the residents have gotten a properly treated water supply? Until today, I had qualms that perhaps, the soiled water may also have had an indirect link to the JE outbreak, or was the outbreak truly from the spread of JE virus (Nipah virus)?
The second case took place when I was going through a project tender in 1993. While I was going through the documents of a fairly large international bidding project, I noticed a special note attached to the list of water analysis reports on our city water stating, ‘(in an epidemic)’ – documented just beside the Free chlorine content. To me, the comment by the consultant was a tad sarcastic as he assumed that our city water had to maintain such a high chlorine level because our country had been and would be encountering an epidemic forever.
Our municipal water authority may have their reasons to maintain this epidemically high chlorine content, but as a consumer and a professional myself, I could not sit still and do nothing. Distastefully, I noticed that the situation took a turn for the worse lately, as there is a considerable rise in the number of unprofessional traders, capitalizing on the problem of high chlorine content. Although these traders sell water filters that can remove chlorine, these filters also generate tasteless toxin in the process – poisoning households without consumers’ notice.
A few years ago, our health ministers disclosed the hard, cold statistics, through newspapers, that Malaysia had one of the highest cancer-rate among all countries in the world, and Chinese outnumber the other races. Coincidently, Chinese population also outnumber the other races in the installation of household water filter.
At the ground level, utilizing basic scientific knowledge, we have no difficulty convincing the public to switch their trust from the commercial water filtration gimmick, to that of the World Health Organization’s recommendation. Although our explanation has never been disputed when we approached the public, the number of people we have met, as compared to the overall population, is just the tip of the iceberg.
How to be a wise consumer in deciding your purchase of drinking water filter?
When we, as consumers, enquire about new products, most salespersons solely highlight the niche areas of such products. They are very reluctant, however, to expose the weaknesses of their own products. Nevertheless, let us not fault these salespersons as they are probably not aware of the product’s shortcomings – after all, product trainings usually cover the competitor’s weaknesses and not their own.
Different people have different needs and level of tolerance towards the revealed product weaknesses. Thus, with the gathered information, we can wisely weigh each product’s flaw based on its impact on our personal needs.
A case scenario may help to illustrate my point:
Recently, two of my children were caught in a dilemma of choosing the brands of laptop to purchase. Both brands had their pros and cons; Brand A had a slim and lightweight model with tough casing, whereas Brand B had high technical specification. My children wasted a lot of time in their indecision until both brand suppliers exposed the cons of their competitors’ product – Brand A’s technical specification was much lower than B’s, whereas Brand B’s model was much heavier with flimsy plastic casing. A decision was drawn based on which con was intolerable to one but acceptable to the other.
Initially, I was reluctant to study the weakness of my competitors’ product. I preferred to stay mum if the weaknesses found were tolerable to even just a small portion of end-users. However, I still encourage my potential customers to check with my competitors on my products’ weaknesses. I believe that it is not worth buying a product even if only one of its weaknesses is intolerable to the user.
Nevertheless, being a water treatment professional, it is my duty to alert the public of the dangerous misconception of what entails ‘clean and healthy’ water. The hidden cruel truth of market demand for these doubtful healthy water, must be addressed for the sake of public health.
With that clarified, I hope that the readers of my articles will not view me as an unethical businessman for exposing the weaknesses of filters in the market – as the weaknesses identified are absolutely intolerable to the health-conscious end-users. Furthermore, my claims are easily proven with simple scientific theory, water analysis on well-known carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) and the statistical reports from our country’s health ministry.
Last but not least, I hope that the information provided in our webpages will benefit the health-conscious consumers in making wise decisions for their future purchases and consequently, ensuring that they consume “genuine” World Health Organisation recommended healthy water.