Hong Kong takes action to improve drinking water
Hong Kong has launched an action plan to enhance drinking water safety, aiming at further safeguarding water quality through a “multi-pronged approach.”
The plan comprises five components, each on different aspects, such as drinking water standards, an enhanced water quality monitoring program, plumbing materials control, commissioning requirements for new plumbing installations and a water safety regulatory regime, the city government said.
It aims at further enhancing drinking water safety in Hong Kong in a comprehensive manner, it added.
The plan was developed by the city’s development bureau and water supplies department after they appointed expert consultants to study the experience and practices of drinking water safety in other countries and took into account the advice of the expert panel on drinking water safety set up in June last year as one of the government’s follow-up actions after an incident of excess lead found in drinking water in 2015.
Under the plan, the water supplies department will enhance the existing water quality monitoring program by collecting random samples annually from consumers’ taps for testing. The first stage of the program will test the presence of six metals — antimony, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead and nickel — that could be present in internal plumbing systems.
The collected data will form the basis for assessing the appropriateness of adopting standards beyond the guidelines set by the World Health Organization. The enhanced program is targeted to commence before the end of December.
The plan also includes strengthening regulatory control of plumbing materials, promoting the implementation of water safety plans for buildings to property owners and property management agencies, as well as enhancing publicity and public education on the safe use of water.