Hong Kong unveils action plan to ensure high safety standards of drinking water

HONG KONG - The Hong Kong government has launched an action plan to enhance drinking water safety in the city.

The action plan, released on Thursday (Sept 21), covers five areas, the government said in a statement.

Under the plan, the government will enhance water quality monitoring and drinking water standards, strengthen the regulatory control of plumbing materials and installations, review the water safety regulatory regime, implement water safety plans, and embark on publicity and public education on the safe use of water.

To enhance the existing water quality monitoring programme, the Water Supplies Department will collect random water samples annually from taps. The first stage of the programme will test the existence of six metals, namely antimony, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead and nickel, which could be present in plumbing systems.

The plan was developed by the Water Supplies Department and the Development Bureau after the appointment of expert consultants to study the experience and practices in other countries, the government said in the statement.

It also took into account the advice of the International Expert Panel on Drinking Water Safety that was set up in June, 2016.

The panel was one of the government's follow-up actions after excess lead was found in drinking water in 2015.