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WSD appeals to water consumers to support Enhanced Water Quality Monitoring Programme
     The Water Supplies Department (WSD) today (December 1) commenced the Enhanced Water Quality Monitoring Programme (Enhanced Programme) and called for support by water consumers who have been invited to take part in the Enhanced Programme in order to assist the WSD in monitoring the drinking water quality at consumers' taps and collecting local water quality data for reviewing Hong Kong's drinking water standard.
     The Enhanced Programme is part of the Action Plan for Enhancing Drinking Water Safety in Hong Kong launched in September this year. The WSD has engaged an independent consultant to select about 670 premises each year from all water accounts on a random basis. Water samples will be collected from the drinking water taps of the selected premises to test for the existence of six metals, namely antimony, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead and nickel, that could be present in an internal plumbing system.
     The WSD will send invitation letters to the consumers of the selected premises. The first batch of the invitation letters will be sent next week. Since participation in the Enhanced Programme is non-mandatory, the WSD will invite more premises than required to ensure a sufficient number of participating consumers. Therefore, not all of the invited premises will be visited for collecting water samples.
     The WSD will send a sampling team for each visit comprising a WSD water sampler and a licensed plumber appointed by the consultant. A sampling period will be stated in the invitation letter and will usually start two weeks after the date of issue of the invitation letter. The sampling staff will visit the premises on any day during the sampling period from 9am to 5pm to collect water samples. If consent is obtained from the consumers during the visit, the sampling staff will collect water samples from one of the drinking water taps in the premises. The process will take about one hour.
     The sampling staff will wear uniforms and staff cards for identification. In case of doubt, consumers may call the enquiry number stated in the invitation letter or the WSD's Hotline for the Action Plan for Enhancing Drinking Water Safety in Hong Kong (Tel: 2824 5000, press 05 after language selection) to verify the identity of the sampling staff.

     The WSD will inform the consumers about the test results within two weeks after the collection of water samples. The test results will be compiled as water quality statistics and will be released on the WSD's website (www.wsd.gov.hk/en/dwsewqmp) weekly. The WSD will keep the consumers' identities and their addresses confidential unless consent is obtained from relevant parties related to the premises concerned (such as the registered consumer, the occupier or the property owner) or when general public health is at risk as revealed by the test result.
     Members of the public may call the WSD's aforementioned Hotline for the Action Plan for Enhancing Drinking Water Safety in Hong Kong or visit the WSD's website (www.wsd.gov.hk) for information on the Enhanced Programme. The WSD also launched a set of TV and radio Announcements in the Public Interest and a poster today on the Enhanced Programme.
Ends/Friday, December 1, 2017
Issued at HKT 11:17
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