Water test data to be published

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 April, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 April, 2000, 12:00am

Test results on both raw and treated drinking water are to be published by officials in a move to allay fears over deteriorating quality.

The move - endorsed by the Advisory Committee on the Quality of Water Supplies, which held its first meeting yesterday - will be implemented by the Water Supplies Department in two or three months.

Committee chairman Kenneth Fang Hung said the results would be published on the Internet and in leaflets.

'It is normal practice for every country to publicise annually the final [treated] water quality.

'For Hong Kong, the general public might have a major interest in Dongjiang water. We will therefore publish both the raw and treated water quality,' said Mr Fang.

The data will include results of testing in more than 130 areas, ranging from bacteria to chemicals.

Mr Fang stressed that the SAR's drinking water, both raw and treated, was within standards set by the World Health Organisation. He said the additional cost of treating raw water was only a few cents per cubic metre.

The Dongjiang (East River) in Guangdong supplies more than 70 per cent of Hong Kong's water, all processed in the SAR.

The advisory committee was formed on April 1 after the legislature and Audit Commission expressed concern over the transparency of the Water Supplies Department and the quality of Dongjiang water.

Greenpeace campaigner Howard Liu Hung-to welcomed the release of more water quality data but urged the committee to publish the data every month.

'The water quality should be closely monitored as there is huge seasonal fluctuation in the water quality in Dongjiang,' he said.

'Another major concern is whether there are any measures to be taken if the parameters are found to be over the standard.'