AMMAN — Authorities are tracking down two people suspected of selling untreated water from a spring in west Amman’s Wadi Al Seer, a Water Ministry official said on Wednesday.

A team from the Water Authority of Jordan (WAJ) and the Jordan Water Company (Miyahuna) inspected the area’s water sources after recording a lower flow of water into Wadi Al Seer Water Treatment Station.

“The team discovered several pipes pumping 100 cubic metres of water per hour from a spring and filling up water tankers with the untreated water that is unfit for human consumption,” the official said.

The pipes and pumps were removed and authorities are now searching for two suspects who have been identified.

The ministry has repeatedly urged the public to be vigilant and ask water tanker drivers to show them a document that identifies the source of the water, indicating that people receiving water from private wells must obtain a receipt showing the source and cost of the water.

The ministry said owners of water tankers must adhere to regulations that ensure water safety, including cleanliness of the tanker and pipes. Water tankers must be green in colour, with the words “drinking water” visibly printed.

Water tanker owners must also carry out regular maintenance and cleaning of the tanker, according to the ministry.

Also on Wednesday, the ministry announced that security authorities arrested the owners of a drilling rig and a farm in Ramtha, located 90km north of Amman, after discovering the illegal drilling of a well.

“The ministry received reports about an illegal drilling of a well in the middle of the night. When a team from WAJ and security forces arrived at the site, those drilling the well fled the scene,” the official at the ministry said.

The team seized and confiscated the drilling rig, while an investigation is under way with the owners of the farm and the drilling rig.

The ministry banned the drilling of wells in 1997 to limit random pumping of water and preserve aquifers from depletion and salinity.

International studies indicate that water levels at several aquifers have been dropping at a rate of one metre per year, according to the ministry, which noted that more than 50 million cubic metres of underground water is being extracted in indiscriminate pumping.