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Overview of Enhanced Water Quality Monitoring Programme in 2022
     The Water Supplies Department (WSD) announced today (January 12) that drinking water samples were collected from water taps of 460 randomly selected consumers' premises under the Enhanced Water Quality Monitoring Programme (Enhanced Programme) in 2022 for testing of residual chlorine, Escherichia coli and six metals, viz. antimony, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead and nickel. One exceedance case of lead level over the Hong Kong Drinking Water Standards (HKDWS) was found.
     The above-mentioned lead exceedance case involved a private non-domestic premises in Kwun Tong District which was announced by the Government on June 22, 2022 (www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202206/22/P2022062200553.htm).  Subsequently, the WSD assisted the responsible person of the premises concerned to complete the relevant investigation. The investigation revealed that a water dispenser in the premises had not been equipped with a non-return valve. Coupled with the fact that the filter unit of the water dispenser had not been replaced for a long time, there was backflow of substances accumulated in the filter unit, causing contamination of the drinking water in the internal water supply system of the premises concerned and hence lead exceedance in the water samples. The responsible person of the premises concerned had subsequently dismantled the water dispenser and drinking water samples collected afterwards by the WSD in the premises complied with the HKDWS in respect of lead content. 
     Notwithstanding that the above-mentioned case is an isolated incident, the WSD appeals to property owners and consumers that water dispensers or water filters that are not properly installed and maintained will cause water quality problems such as bacterial growth, etc. If there is a need to install water-using apparatus such as water dispensers in their premises, they should employ licensed plumbers to submit applications to the WSD for approval pursuant to Regulation 24 of the Waterworks Regulations. Property owners and consumers should also use and maintain the water using apparatus in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, including timely replacement of filter units and other parts, to prevent the internal water supply system of the premises from being contaminated.
     The WSD has extended the drinking water quality monitoring to consumers' taps by implementing the Enhanced Programme since 2017 to collect drinking water samples from taps of randomly selected consumers' premises to monitor water quality. The weekly statistics on water quality monitoring data at consumers' taps under the Enhanced Programme are available on the WSD's website.
Ends/Thursday, January 12, 2023
Issued at HKT 10:00
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