The head of Tehran Health and City Services Commission has called on the city residents to stop consuming tap water and only use bottled water for drinking. Rahmatollah Hafezi stressed that tap water in certain parts of the city can be harmful to people's health.

The Minister of Health has denied those statements and insists that Tehran tap water is completely safe.

Hafezi has however called for an emergency task force to teat the level of nitrites in tap water over the next 24 hours, stressing that in certain parts of the city the levels are too high and pose a danger to people's health.

The ministry said on Wednesday November 19 that there should be no concerns about the quality of tap water in the capital. It added, however, that the problem of high nitrates has been identified in a number of wells, calling it a contained matter that does not affect the overall quality of Tehran's water.

This summer, the Minister of Health called on the Department of Environment to keep monitoring water quality. The Department had expressed concern regarding the safety of water from wells saying it could cause cancer.