Whether you have a burning question you want answered or you have encountered a water-related issue, find your answer here. If your question is not answered here, scroll below to submit your request and a technical person will get in touch
Got No Water
If you’ve got a problem with your water or wastewater, Water Services Corporation might already be aware of it. Check their facebook page.
If not contact Water Services Corporation.
Low Water Pressure
If your water pressure has dropped, get in touch with Water Services Corporation who will guide you accordingly.
Report a Leak
Whether it’s a leak at home or outside (in a road or footpath), Water Services Corporation give you a step by step guide on how to locate it or report it.
Broken or missing manhole cover
If you spot a broken or open manhole, please try to cordon it off (wherever possible and in full safety) and report the fault to Water Services Corporation.
If the manhole is of immediate danger to traffic or road users, also report to the Police.
Don’t know where the blockage is and who owns the affected pipework? Don’t hesitate – Water Services Corporation can find this out and repair if the pipework belongs to them, or give advice if the pipework belongs to you.
Burst water pipe? Act Fast. There are things you can do to minimize water loss and damage until it is fixed.
Unusual Tap Water
Your well needs repair?
Have a well that needs repair? Check out the Regulator for Energy and Water Services (REWS) website for information about their current scheme.
Want to know if the bowser you use is registered? Contact the Regulator for Energy and Water Services (REWS) to find out more.
Want to check if your bowser provides you with first class potable water? Contact the Environmental Health Directorate to find out more.
I want to apply for a new water supply for my premises. What shall I do?
If you wish to apply for a new water supply to your household or commercial premises you will need to start by downloading the Form for Water and submit it to the ARMS Customer Contact Centre Offices or send it by email on [email protected] . It is fundamental that these services can be requested if you have the necessary water piping installed in your premise but do not have external supply. For more information visit the ARMS Website FAQs.
QUESTIONS ON WATER
Why is being water efficient important for tackling climate change?
Water is a critical resource for human survival, and not just because we need fresh drinking water. Households consume water for a range of other uses, including laundry, showering, growing food and crops, making products such as clothes, sanitation and healthcare. The agricultural sector is heavily reliant on water for food production, and the industrial/commercial sectors also consume large amounts of water; water is a key ingredient in a wide variety of products we use in our daily lives. Water is also important for our recreation.
It takes energy to treat, pump and heat water for its range of uses, whether that be New Water, Grey Water, Black Water, or water from rainwater harvesting. This processing of water can be hugely energy-intensive and, as such, it contributes to climate change through the release of greenhouse gas emissions.
Reducing your water consumption can not only save water, an important resource in itself, but can also directly result in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, being more water efficient, and reducing the amount of energy required to produce water, can help tackle climate change.
How do I conduct a water audit at home?
Maltese households consume around 20 million litres of water per year. Using water more efficiently in your home will conserve water and reduce your household bills. It is easy to conserve water and reduce the amount that you consume by increasing the water efficiency of your home. The first step is to check how much water you currently use, by conducting your own water audit. You can test the water efficiency of your showerheads, bathroom and kitchen sinks simply by placing a 1L jug under the shower head / faucet and measuring the time (in seconds) it takes for the jug to fill. Divide the number of seconds by 60 and then divide 1L by your answer, to get the flow rate in litres per minute.
You should aim for a shower head flow rate not exceeding 7 litres per minute; for maximum efficiency aim for a flow rate of less than 6 litres per minute. For maximum efficiency in your kitchen and bathroom sinks, aim for flow rates not exceeding 4.5 litres per minute & 3.5 litres per minute respectively.
There are multiple things that can be done to improving your water efficiency:
• Install a water-efficient showerhead (this incorporates a flow reducer into the design which uses less water)
• Or install a flow regulating device onto your current showerhead. This usually screws on between the shower hose and the shower head.
• Install a faucet aerator, or other flow regulating devices to control and maintain adequate water flow for use.
• If you already have an aerator, make sure to clean it to remove limescale and improve its efficiency.
• If your aerators are functioning properly and flow rates are still high, then one can adjust the flow rate from the angle valve located beneath the sink unit.
What is New Water and is it safe to use?
The Water Services Corporation’s (WSC) New Water Project aims to achieve an annual production capacity of 7 million cubic metres of high-quality New Water suitable for safe crop irrigation and industrial applications. New Water is highly polished reclaimed water from recycled sewage effluent. Once treated the high quality of New Water enables its use for landscaping and industry, further enabling the use of water during periods of low demand by the agricultural sector. The WSC aims to potentially address up to 35% of the current total water demand of the agricultural sector by using New Water.
New Water is currently being produced at three water polishing plants located within the Urban Wastewater Treatment Plants at Ras il–Ħobż (Għajnsielem) in Gozo, Iċ-Ċumnija (Mellieħa) in the north of Malta and Ta’ Barkat (Xgħajra) in the south of Malta. The largest of these plants (Ta’ Barkat) can eventually produce 9,600 cubic metres of New Water per day. The plants at Iċ-Ċumnija and Ras il-Ħobż in Gozo have a capacity of 6,400 and 3,200 cubic metres per day, respectively.
Any sewage treatment plant works by speeding up a natural process that uses bacteria. What normally takes nature weeks is done in around 18 hours. Raw sewage is fed into large aeration tanks and churned by large, submerged blowers, introducing air through banks of diffusers. A very heavy concentration of bacteria eats up the solid matter which is then extracted from the system as surplus sludge.
Clear, odourless water which is still high in bacteria rises to the top and is then discharged into the sea. This water is not fit for drinking but is harmless to the marine environment. The surplus sludge is then de-watered and the resulting material can potentially be used for soil enrichment. Through the addition of a tertiary treatment stage at each of their 3 wastewater plants; bacteria, chemicals and pollutants are removed from the treated wastewater to create New Water.
Why is increasing our use of Grey Water important for the future?
Malta has the lowest natural freshwater availability per capita of all the European Union (EU) Member States and the United Nations (UN) Falkenmark Index for water scarcity classifies Malta as having natural freshwater resources that are below the manageable capability for the country’s sustainable development. Changing rainfall patterns, reduce Malta’s already low freshwater availability, and are predicted to persist into the future as climate change serves for a drier Mediterranean region with less precipitation.
The demand for water in Malta is currently addressed through four different sources: abstraction of groundwater, the desalination of seawater (using reverse osmosis), the harvesting of rainwater run-off, and the treatment of wastewater. The strong reliance on groundwater abstraction and desalination, if managed properly, can be sustainable. There is the need to increase the supply of water due to the increasing demand of a growing population. This can be achieved by recycling wastewater, through the use of ‘grey water’ and New Water, as well as rainwater harvesting.
Greywater is domestic wastewater produced from showers, baths, bathroom and kitchen sinks, washing machines, dishwashers, etc. and it makes up the majority of the water produced by households. The other wastewater produced by households is sewage effluent from our toilets, which is known as ‘black water’. Unlike black water, grey water contains only soaps and other cleaning product residues. It contains fewer contaminants than black water and is easier to treat in order to improve its quality and enable its reuse.
In the treatment process, grey water is passed through filters to remove suspended matter; some systems also include bacterial filtration. The water is then chlorinated so that it can be reused for irrigation and toilet flushing. The figure below shows how the treatment of grey water is carried out.
How can we reduce consumption by conserving water?
The production and circulation of water, as well as the treatment and disposal of wastewater consumes energy, and it also releases carbon dioxide (CO2). In drier regions of the World, such as Malta, the energy demands of water production facilities in particular are often higher, requiring processes including the desalination of seawater. Malta has been producing water through desalination (reverse osmosis) since 1982, and is still reliant on this method of production of freshwater. There are currently three Reverse Osmosis (RO) plants in Malta and sea-water desalination provides around 60% of the municipal water supply.
Desalination of seawater is energy intensive. The reverse osmosis process has undergone significant changes since 1982, particularly in terms of improving energy efficiency, and the industry is continuously moving towards higher efficiency levels. The EWA & WSC aim to reduce the energy needed to produce freshwater from seawater to 2.8 kilowatt hours per 1 cubic metre of freshwater. A decade ago, it took 6 kilowatt hours to produce 1 cubic metre of freshwater.
The conservation of water by reducing consumption, as well as through the collection and reuse of rainwater, the reclamation and recycling of wastewater, reduces the burden on energy intensive production processes, such as desalination. However, electricity is also required to distribute water, as well as to treat wastewater. It is therefore important to target water consumption to improve water efficiency and to lower energy demand.
The national water conservation campaign, ‘Water – Be the Change’, launched in September 2019 aims to facilitate a cultural shift in people’s behaviour towards water conservation and includes practical tips to reduce water and energy consumption in homes and businesses.
By conserving water you will not simply be reducing your water consumption, but you will also indirectly reduce the energy required to produce potable water and dispose of wastewater. While at the same time, lowering the cost of both water and electricity for both the end user and supplier.
Is water a scarce resource in Malta?
The scarcity of water resources has always been a reality for Malta, in fact it was also highlighted in the first known report on water resources in our islands, which dates back to the mid-1500s.
Malta has a semi-arid climate with long dry summers and mild wet winters which contributes to a limited availability of naturally renewable water resources.
The situation is further compounded by the islands’ high population density which generates a high demand for the limited water resources available, hence further exacerbating the scarcity of such resources.
Some figures: The United Nations considers 500m3/person/year of naturally renewable water resources as the threshold of extreme water stress. The availability levels in the Maltese islands are estimated at only 100m3/person/year, and this makes Malta amongst the world’s top ten water scarce countries.
Does Malta have natural freshwater resources?
Yes, Malta does have freshwater resources.
Although in the Maltese islands there are no large and permanent river systems, there are several small inland surface-water systems; valleys, streams and ponds that have varying water levels throughout the year. The presence of water in these water courses and small ponds sustains important endemic ecosystems.
The main natural freshwater resource in the Maltese Islands is groundwater sustained in two aquifer typologies – perched and mean sea-level groundwater bodies, The availability of fresh groundwater has historically sustained the economic development of our country, and to this day is an important resource in Malta’s water supply resource base.
Is there water in the ground beneath our feet?
Yes, there is water underground and it is known as groundwater.
Groundwater forms when water seeps from the ground surface into the ground and fills gaps (pores and/or fractures) in the rocks. Malta’s geology gives rise to two types of groundwater bodies – namely perched groundwater bodies which are sustained in the Upper Coralline Limestone formation by the underlying Blue Clay, and mean sea-level groundwater bodies where freshwater floats on seawater within the Lower Coralline Limestone formation. Both groundwater bodies are highly vulnerable to pollution from the surface, whilst the sea-level groundwater bodies are also vulnerable to the intrusion of sea-water in response to abstraction activities.
What pollutants do we find in Malta’s natural freshwater resources?
Pollutants in Malta’s groundwater are various, but they are all a result of human activities such as from agriculture, industries and also our daily activities. A major pollutant throughout our groundwater systems is nitrate which primarily originates from agricultural over-fertilisation.
Other contributions can come from wastewater leakages, which can also result in the introduction of other pollutants coming from our homes in our groundwater systems.
Such pollutants include personal care products, pharmaceuticals and other chemicals used in our daily activities, although these have to date not been detected in groundwater in Malta.
Where does Malta’s water provision come from and who benefits from it?
Malta’s water supply comes from four main freshwater resources; (i) groundwater, (ii) desalinated seawater (iii) rainwater runoff and (iv) reclaimed water. These water resources are used to meet the demand for all water users depending on the quality needs, hence ground water and desalinated water are used for the production of drinking water, whilst groundwater, reclaimed water and rainwater runoff are used for other purposes such as agriculture and industry.
Is there an infinite supply of water?
Water is a finite resource: there are some 1 400 million cubic kilometres on earth and circulating through the hydrological cycle. This cycle links lakes, soil moisture, rivers and biological systems. This great water cycle causes some 113,000 cubic kilometres to fall as rain and snow every year.
Although water covers 75 % of the world’s surface, 97.5 percent of the earth’s water is salt water; of the remaining 2.5 percent, most is locked away as groundwater or in glaciers.
Since Malta has no lakes or rivers, we get our water from groundwater and from the sea, through desalination. Groundwater is also finite! We cannot keep pumping from the underground water table without giving it time to replenish as it will cause its salinity to rise to unacceptable levels and too little rainfall is worsening the problem more.
How can I save water at home?
Nowadays we are using more water than usual to sanitise our hands, and even things around the house. While this is essential for our well-being, we must look at other ways to save water, for the well-being of our natural resources. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple things like turning off the water while you brush, shave or lather; Or keeping a bucket in the shower and re-using the water the next time you flush.
You can use up the time that you’re spending at home to check for a leaking flushing or dripping faucets. Or even invest in more modern and economical showerheads and tap aerators. Use the time to install them. You’ll be saving 1,000s of litres of water per month. For more information visit water.org.mt.
What is the difference between Black Water and Grey Water?
Black water is primarily wastewater from toilets. The wastewater that leaves your home goes into a huge sewage collection network that is 1545km long, which has 104 pumping stations. It is then directed to one of three wastewater treatment plants located at Ta’ Barkat, Ras il-Ħobż (Gozo) and Mellieha. These treatment plants work by speeding up a natural process that uses bacteria. What normally takes nature weeks is done by sewage treatment plants in around 18 hours. Raw sewage is fed into large aeration tanks and churned by large submerged blowers that introduce air though banks of diffusers. A very heavy concentration of bacteria eats up the solid matter.
Clear, odourless water which is still fairly high in bacteria rises to the top and is then discharged into the sea. This water is not fit for drinking but is harmless to the marine environment. Wastewater treatment is necessary to protect our coastal waters, and hence ensure that we have clean bathing water.
Greywater contains a lower level of organic load and is easier to treat and process. So how can greywater be recycled by commercial entities such as hotels? Firstly, wastewater from showers and wash hand basins must be collected separately to that from toilets (black water). This grey water can be passed through filters to remove suspended matter; some systems also include bacterial filtration. The water is then chlorinated, so it can be re-used. Recycled water can be used for irrigation and toilet flushing.
What's the best way to wash your car, and save water?
It is estimated that on average a car washed at home using a garden hose uses 100-300 litres of water whilst an automated carwash uses 125 litres and a jet wash uses on average 70-100 litres. If you use a two-bucket system where you fill two buckets of water – the first one with car washing liquid and the second with clean water – then you will only consume 30 litres of water, which is significantly lower than any alternative washing technique. Always remember to park your car in the shade and out of direct sunlight. This prevents premature drying and avoids your car becoming hot while you wash it, which will result in water evaporating more quickly, making the cleaning process more difficult. If you really don’t want to wash your car yourself try and find a car wash that recycles water.
How can I water my plants and garden in summer, in order to save water?
There are a number of principles to save water in the garden including looking after your soil, watering at the right time using the right amount of water, planting flowers/vegetation that need less water, using the best watering techniques for your plants, and where possible collecting rainwater and reusing old water.
You can even use grey water from your baths, showers and washing up bowls. Grey water contains minimal amounts of soap and detergent and is harmless to plants. Don’t use water containing bleach, disinfectant, dishwasher salt or stronger cleaners, which can harm plants, damage soil structure and could be a health risk.
Hoses and watering cans, although labour intensive, are precise and should be used to water around plant bases beneath the leaves, leaving the surrounding soil dry. This limits weed growth and ensures that all water goes where it is needed.
Automated irrigation systems allow water to drip or trickle directly into growing areas whenever you programme them to do so. Avoid using sprinklers in the garden. They are not very efficient and can use up to 1,000 litres of water/hour.
How to tell when garden plants need water? Plants looking slightly wilted in the late afternoon sun on a hot summer day is normal. However, if the plant(s) looks wilted in the morning, water right away.
What is the best way to wash clothes while saving water?
The majority of the energy used in washing machines is warming the water. If you are worried that cold water does not work as effectively, buy specific cold water detergents. They are made with different ingredients that work as efficiently as regular detergents in hot water.
Energy efficient (AAA) machines use the exact amount of water needed for the load of clothes you are washing. These machines use less water in general because they rinse clothes with a high-pressure spray, instead of soaking them.
You don’t need to use a new clean towel for every shower or bath you take. You are clean when you get out of the shower. So after drying off, just hang your towel up to dry. Many hotels are even giving their guests the option to hang up their towels for reuse in order to be more considerate of the environment.
We are all guilty of tossing clothes that could be worn again into the basket. After wearing your clothes one time, are they really that dirty?
Only use the washing machine for big loads. Don’t let a small pile of dirty laundry make you feel overwhelmed. Wait for the pile to grow till your next load. Some older washing machines are not equipped to know how many garments you have in there, so they use more water than necessary.
How can I make my home more energy and water-efficient?
During the house visits our officers will ask you a series of questions about your energy and water consumption. How many people live in the house? What sort of appliances do you use? How old are they? Is your house well insulated? This is important because heating your home in winter and cooling it down in summer have a big impact on the way that you consume energy.
We will then ask about your water and energy consumption habits. Do you take showers, or baths? How often? Do you heat your home with electric heaters/ACs?
We will also have a look at your water and electricity bill, identifying irregular consumption patterns, and any possible mistakes that need to be rectified, like for example the number of people within a household.
Once the visit is done, a report is drawn up and sent to you at home. In certain cases, a follow-up visit can be organized, should the need arise.
Our house visits are beneficial to you because they’re tailor-made to your home and can help you save money on your bills. With the right advice and a small change of attitude, we could help reduce your wastage of water and electricity considerably hence helping the environment too.
What is the taste of water?
“The natural substance water per se tends to be tasteless,” wrote Aristotle. In his view, it serves only as the vehicle for flavour. The most important dimension of a water source’s effect on how it tastes has to do with the minerals that are dissolved in the water. Have you ever seen the term “parts per millions” (ppm) on your bottle of water? This refers to how much of a particular mineral is present in a given volume of water. For example, if you buy a 1-litre bottle of sparkling mineral water, your bottle might say that it contains 500 ppm of total dissolved solids (TDS). This TDS measurement is basically shorthand for telling you that your water contains naturally occurring minerals.
Long answer: Malta has a reliable supply of tap water which meets stringent EU criteria on drinking water quality, yet many consumers still rely on either imported mineral water or on table water: water that is partly extracted from the groundwater table or the national water supply, which is further treated at an additional energy cost as well as an environmental cost: the plastic packaging and the cost of disposing and recycling plastic bottles.
Chief executive of the Energy and Water Agency, Manuel Sapiano, says the Water Services Corporation will be addressing this important taste issue within the next three years.
“Our water is completely safe to drink, but it has a taste of chlorine which consumers do not like… one of the targets of the WSC is to make tap water drinkable by addressing the taste issue, all while attaining lower production costs. This will be through a project which will comprehensively upgrade the WSC’s water production and distribution facilities, enabling it to capitalize on the full blending capacity of desalinated water, improving the quality and taste of their product. ”
Why is water so good for us?
Short answer: Many people know that experts recommend drinking eight glasses of water each day. Although this is a guideline, we still know that we should drink throughout the day especially in hot weather or before and after exercising. For years, dieters have been drinking lots of water as a weight loss strategy. While water doesn’t have any magical effect on weight loss, substituting it for higher calorie beverages can certainly help.
Long answer: Cells that don’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue. Drinking enough fluids is important when exercising. During exercise, it is recommended that people start drinking fluids early, and drink them at regular intervals to replace fluids lost by sweating.
Our skin contains plenty of water, and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. Although over-hydration doesn’t erase wrinkles or fine lines, dehydration makes your skin look more dry and wrinkled, which can be improved with proper hydration.
Water also helps your kidneys. Body fluids transport waste products in and out of cells. The main toxin in the body is blood urea nitrogen, a water-soluble waste that is able to pass through the kidneys to be excreted in the urine.
If you think you need to be drinking more, here are some tips to increase your fluid intake and reap the benefits of water:
• Have a beverage with every snack and meal.
• Choose beverages you enjoy; you’re likely to drink more liquids if you like the way they taste.
• Eat more fruits and vegetables. Their high water content will add to your hydration. About 20% of our fluid intake comes from foods.
• Keep a bottle of water with you in your car, at your desk, or in your bag.
• Choose beverages that meet your individual needs. If you’re watching calories, go for non-caloric beverages or water.
How much water do we consume?
In total the Maltese islands consume around 60 million cubic meters every year, around half of which is mainly utilised for potable purposes. Given the lack of naturally available freshwater resources, potable water in Malta is a mix of desalinated water from the reverse osmosis plants and groundwater. An increase in population and the standards of living are leading to an increase in the national demand for water. Households are the biggest user of freshwater in the Maltese islands and utilise a mix of potable water, recycled water and harvested rainwater.
Many think that the washing machine is the greatest water consuming point appliance within a household. The reality is that the most significant water using point in a household is the bathroom. Toilet flushing and showers together consume almost 70% of your daily water consumption. Therefore, they provide the best opportunity for everyone to make tangible water savings and become more water efficient. Look out for the water saving kit being distributed as part of the campaign and the numerous water saving tips and together let’s be the change.
How much water do we use?
Of the millions of cubic metres of potable water that the Water Services Corporation produces every year, Malta accounts for approximately 92% of the total water production with the rest being consumed in Gozo and Comino; this reflects the size of the island and the production facilities available. From 2012 to 2017, water losses in the system ranged from 12% to 14%. A higher increase in water consumption is observed throughout the summer months. This is due to the higher influx of people as a result of increased tourism and due to the higher temperatures in general. These seasonal peaks and troughs are even more pronounced in Gozo and Comino, characterised with sharper increases in demand during summer months.
How is water delivered to our taps?
One of the key elements of the distribution network is to ensure that there are no leakages of water outside the system. Over the past few years a leakage control programme using state-of-the-art equipment, refined work practices and policies has been implemented by the WSC. This has allowed the Corporation to reduce total water produced over previous years. Back in 1995 leakage was estimated at 2,800 cubic metres per hour falling to 1,200 cubic metres per hour in 2001. In 2014 it was 407 cubic metres per hour which was again reduced in 2015 where there was an average 395 cubic metres per hour of leakage.
What is a water gallery and what does it do?
Water galleries are the intricate and connected underground systems that provide Malta with its potable water. These consist of underground tunnels located approximately at the depth of sea level. In 2018, the WSC produced 33.5 million cubic metres (m3) of potable water in Malta and Gozo1. Approximately 14.2 million m3 (42%) of this potable water was produced from a number of groundwater sources, including water abstracted from these groundwater galleries.
How is the quality of our water ensured?
The quality and safety of the water WSC produces is constantly checked by the laboratory which is fully accredited by both the National Accreditation Body of the Malta Standards Authority and the United Kingdom Accreditation Services (UKAS). WSC’s monitoring plan for potable water covers both production and distribution networks. In fact, samples are routinely collected from villages, reservoirs, pumping stations, boreholes and reverse osmosis plants. This process analyses the various chemical and microbiological parameters to ensure that the product reaching the customers is of good quality and in line with EU regulations on drinking water. Every year approximately 5,000 samples are collected upon which thousands of physical, chemical and bacteriological tests are carried out. Random tap water quality tests are also carried out in various households around the Maltese islands. These tests ensure that tap water is also safe for drinking at the customers’ end. The results of these tests for the various water quality zones are accessible at https://live.wsc.com.mt/PublicWeb/.
How Much Water Does Your Body Need On A Hot Summer Day?
Why is it important to fix leaks?
Should you wish to report a leak in a public area, visit http://www.wsc.com.mt/emergencies/report-a-leak/
As for domestic leaks, the Water Services Corporation reports that many cases of high consumption were caused by leakages in consumers’ internal distribution system. Many cases were caused by faulty toilet flushing cisterns that leaked water into the toilet bowl without the owner ever noticing. Other leaks were discovered in buried or underground water pipes and some were leaks from the roof tank. The simplest and often most effective check was to have toilet flushing systems seen to by a competent person. A defective system could waste thousands of litres per year without the house owner ever being aware. Underground leaks, too (usually under floor tiles), can allow large amounts of water to seep away unnoticed. A simple way to determine if a home has silent water leaks is to take a water meter reading at a time when no one is using water, maybe when everyone is away from home. Wait at least two hours, during which time no one should use water in the house, even to flush the toilet, then take a meter reading again. If the number changed, there is probably a leak. This can also be done at night when no one uses water – a reading is taken before you go to sleep and as soon as you wake up. Alternatively visit wsc.com.mt and click on the ‘View Live Map’ button to check your home water consumption.
How did people get freshwater in the past?
Initially, the people lived near the coast and where natural springs were found; from that point, tanks and cisterns were created to store water, especially further inland, some of which date back to the Neolithic period. This was how the indigenous people of Malta used water for much of their history and in a sustainable way. It wasn’t until the Knights of St. John came to the island in 1512 that the water quantity limitations were noticed and documented. The springs were reported to diminish during the summer months, and much of the drinking water was kept in tanks.
After their arrival, the Knights of St. John created legislation to require the construction of cisterns for rainwater storage for every new building built in the city. In addition to the rainwater storage tanks, an aqueduct was constructed in 1610 to provide water to Valletta, using a number of springs from the perched aquifer in the Rabat area to feed it. Subsequently a second aqueduct was built, after a drought lasting from 1834–1841, to supply water to the three cities of Cospicua, Vittoriosa, and Senglea, as well as a few other villages.
These aqueducts and rainwater storage structures served as the primary source of drinking water to the people of Malta through the 19th century, but were quite susceptible to contamination from waste products on the roads, sewer leaks, manure from animals, etc. Still, these were the main sources of drinking water until the demand for water gradually increased, and then groundwater was extracted to supplement the growing demands of the population. In the second half of the 19th century, exploration of the mean sea level aquifers and well drilling were at their beginning. From this point onwards, pumping stations and boreholes were progressively added across the country, tapping into both perched aquifers and the mean sea level aquifer.
How is Malta’s water protected?
The Constitution of Malta states: “Nothing (in this article) shall be construed as affecting the making or operation of any law so far as it provides for vesting in the Government of Malta the ownership of any underground minerals, water or antiquities”. Thus, the constitution can be considered to formally vest in the Government of Malta the sole ownership of all groundwater resources in the islands. In 1991, the Water Services Act was promulgated, which regulated the management of water resources. Under this act, the roles of regulator and operator were attributed to the WSC. The two principle regulations currently in force to protect water are: “The Regulations for the Protection of Groundwater against Pollution caused by Dangerous Substances 2002” and “The Water Policy Framework Regulations 2004” that establish a framework of action for the protection of “inland surface waters”, “transitional waters”, “coastal waters” and “groundwater”. Currently the Energy and Water Agency is tasked with formulating policies related to water demand management and sustainability of the water supply-base whereas WSC is the operator.
What are flash floods and how can we deal with them?
Flooding is a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. Flash flooding is a sudden local flood, typically due to heavy or excessive rainfall in a short period of time. Failing to evacuate flooded areas or entering flood waters can lead to injury or death. Floods may result from rain, coastal storms, storm surges and overflows of water systems. Flash floods can come with no warning and can cause outages, disrupt transportation, damage buildings, and create landslides. If there is a sudden flash flood:
• Be prepared, avoid areas or roads that are known to flood. Use alternative roads.
• If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn and find safe shelter right away. Do not switch off your car.
• Stay off bridges over fast-moving water.
• Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Find shelter, always! Be safe.
• Remember, just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
• Keep your home safe by decluttering drains and gutters. It is important to keep key documents in a waterproof container and to protect your property.
What is water pollution and how can we prevent it?
Water pollution comes from several sources including discarded litter that can end up in waterways, emptying liquids such as paints, thinners and medicines into the drain, emissions from industrial plants, and use of pesticides. Although we cannot prevent industrial scale emissions, we can take steps in our daily lives to reduce water pollution.
Some general ways to prevent water pollution are:
• Dispose litter and garbage at home, properly.
• Never pour chemicals, oils, medicines down the gutter or drain. Take them to a local authorised centre such as petrol stations and pharmacies, or a Civic Amenity Site.
• Wash your car only when needed and make sure to use only the right amount of soap.
• Clean up after your pets, don’t clean up by putting into the gutter or storm drain.
• Always try to minimise your chemical pesticides and herbicides – both are very harmful to the environment.
• Upkeep your vehicle regularly to avoid leaks.
• Whenever possible cut back and buy safer detergents, soaps, and dishwashing liquids. While these are often more expensive, you will be helping the environment.
• Be very careful with toxic chemicals – ammonia, bleach, paint, paint thinner, etc. Safe and careful disposal of these is very important.
Town tours FAQs
Water Be The Change
How does the town tour work?
Our team is presently distributing ‘Water be the Change Gift Packs’, door-to-door in all localities in Malta and Gozo. Should you not be home at the time of the distribution a ‘Failed Delivery Note’ will be posted in your letter box, with instructions on what you can do to redeem your ‘Water Conservation Kit’.
How do I get a voucher?
All ‘Water be the Change Gift Packs’ which are delivered to your door contain a voucher. Should you not be home at the time of distribution, we will post a ‘Failed Delivery Note’ in your letterbox. This note contains instructions on what to do next, and allows you to collect both the gift pack and kit from the Mobile Unit or the Campaign Information Office at GĦAJN.
Where can I redeem my voucher/failed delivery note?
Vouchers and ‘Failed Delivery Notes’ can be redeemed at our WATER Mobile Unit in your locality or our Water Be the Change Campaign Information Office at GĦAJN National Water Conservation Awareness Centre in Rabat, for further details regarding the location of the Water Mobile Unit and the campaign information office please visit: here.
What is a ‘Water Conservation Kit’?
The ‘Water Conservation Kit’ is a collection of 5 water-saving gadgets which will help you conserve water in your home. It consists of:
1. A Handheld Showerhead
2. Dual Spray Swivel Faucet Aerator
3. Dual Thread Aerator
4. A Shower on-off Switch
5. A Flushing Tank Bag
Am I Eligible for this Campaign?
The criteria for eligibility are:
1. If I reside in the residence but I am not the account holder(e.g. wife collecting the kit in the name of her husband or a son living in the same property redeeming the kit on behalf of his parents)
– My ID card with matching address
– ID card of the ARMS account holder with a matching address to the ARMS bill
– ARMS bill
2. If I do not live in the same household but I am collecting the kit on behalf of another person
(e.g. daughter residing in a different residence but is collecting the kit in the name of an elderly parent)
– My ID card obviously without the need of a matching address
– ID card of the ARMS account holder with a matching address to the ARMS bill
– ARMS bill of the eligible residence
3. Long-let with account of ARMS bill on the tenant and ID card matching to the ARMS bill
– ID card of tenant
– ARMS bill with address and account holder tenant
(In case the bill is on the owner than the tenant needs to bring a copy of the ID card of the owner (account holder), ID card of the tenant with the address matching to ARMS bill, ARMS bill with address of eligible residence)
I haven’t received a voucher, so what am I to do?
If no voucher is received, a ‘Failed Delivery Note’ or ‘E-Note’ will be posted in your letterbox instead. This will contain clear instructions on what you should do: Bring the ‘Note”, ARMS bill and ID card to our WATER Mobile Unit, or to our Water Be the Change Campaign Information Office in Rabat.
I am a tenant (ie renting)… am i eligible?
Yes, as long as your ID card is Maltese (or in possession of a Maltese Alien ID Card). You will need to bring your ID, a copy of the ARMS bill and the ID card of the property owner.
I did not collect the Kit from my locality, what should I do?
You can collect the Kit from our Water Be the Change Campaign Information Office in Rabat which opens every day (incl public holidays) and from our WATER Mobile Unit on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays from 9:00am to 5:00pm depending on the locality of the where the Water Mobile Unit is located. For the full list of the planned locations of the Water Mobile Unit and opening times, kindly visit: here.
Water Mobile Unit
What do I need to bring to the mobile unit to collect my Water Conservation Kit?
Brining all the items listed in any of the three points below will work:
1. Voucher and your ID card. Name and address on ID card should match with details on the ARMS bill or else you need to bring the ID card that has the matching details.
2. ‘Failed Delivery Note’ and your ID card.
3. ARMS bill (please make sure that it is marked as ‘Residential’) and your ID card.
I have no time to collect my Water Conservation Kit when the mobile unit is visiting my locality. Can someone collect it for me?
Yes. The person visiting the mobile unit must bring their own ID card, together with the items mentioned above belonging to you.
Will I be able to install the devices myself?
Installation instructions for the water devices can be found here:
Gift pack: http://water.org.mt/waterconservationgiftpackinstructions/
Water Saving Kit: http://water.org.mt/waterconservationkitinstructions/
Why should I install these gadgets?
The purpose of these gadgets is to save water. They can reduce your water bills whilst you do so. Should you wish to purchase more, these are reasonably priced and can also be bought at an iron monger, or online.
How do these gadgets save water?
The aerators and showerhead introduce bubbles of air into the water flow, reducing your water flow but not your pressure. This results in water savings.
The ‘Shower on-off Switch’ regulates the flow of water in order for the user to save the right mixer settings for the appropriate water temprature. This way the temperature of the water is kept constant and there will be no need to waste water to regulate the temperature again when the flow of water is reopened.
The ‘Toilet-Flush Bag’ occupies a volume of space inside your flushing, hence reducing the amount of water required to fill. There will still be an adequate amount of water for proper flushing.
My aerator does not fit into my water tap. What do I do?
All aerators have washers inside, which can be removed to reveal a female thread. The aerators are EU standard and have a male thread on the outside and a female thread inside, once the washers inside are removed. You can otherwise install it on any other tap in your home, where it fits.
I have more than one bathroom. Can I get more Water Conservation Kits?
We are distributing one Kit to every household in Malta and Gozo. However, should you wish to purchase more gadgets, all are very affordable and available from local ironmongers or online.
Apart from my primary residence, I own another property where I also receive another water bill. Am I eligible for both?
All properties receiving ARMS bills marked as ‘Residential’ and indicating the number of residents are eligible (Please refer to the top right-hand corner of your bill). If a bill is marked as ‘Domestic’, and it is residential, but the number of residents is ‘0’, or has no number, then that residence is not eligible. For further enquiries please contact us on our freephone 80072337.