Scientists explore ways of improving taste of Maltese tap water

Second call for R&I projects in energy and water to be launched in March

Energy minister Miriam Dalli (right) at the WSC labs
Energy minister Miriam Dalli (right) at the WSC labs

A scientific endeavour by the Water Services Corporation to improve the taste of Maltese tap water is one of a series of projects that has benefited from a total pool of €120 million in EU funds.

Purilma – ‘pure water’ – is one of the projects from the series ‘Towards a Net Zero-Impact Utility’, which are partly financed by the EU in a bid to have more consumers choosing tap water as their drinking water, and eliminating the use of bottled water and reduce plastic waste. 

The project is also funded by the Energy and Water Agency as part of the National Strategy for Energy and Water Research and Innovation.

A second call for research and innovation projects in the energy and water sectors will be launched this March, energy and sustainability minister Miriam Dalli said during a visit to the WSC laboratories.

Purilma is a collaboration between the WSC and the Department of Food, Science, and Nutrition within the University of Malta.

The project identifies innovative technologies that can disinfect Malta’s water while using lower chlorine quantities, to improve the taste and smell of the drinking water that is supplied by WSC.

The University of Malta will determine the extent to which each technology can disinfect water effectively, according to the levels defined by the EU’s Drinking Water Directive.

The most successful technological method will be further assessed by means of a pilot project carried out by the Water Service Corporation. By using disinfection technology at a national level, public health will be safeguarded, and the taste and smell of tap water will be improved. This will lead to tap water being more acceptable for drinking purposes, at no additional cost to consumers. 

“Purilma is one of the projects that benefitted from the first round of the scheme. This round was successful and generated huge interest, which is why I am pleased to announce that, through the Energy and Water Agency, we will issue a second call in March,” Dalli said. 

She encouraged Maltese scientists and researchers to apply for these funds to work on innovative projects in this sector.