Relief at hand for visitors to country parks

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 April, 2006, 12:00am

Country park visitors can soon say goodbye to primitive aqua privies and enjoy the civilised convenience of flushing toilets, at a cost of $92.8 million to taxpayers.

The government yesterday said it would convert another 100 aqua privies into flushing toilets at popular scenic and tourist sports, as well as locations with higher usage. The changeover will be completed by the end of next year.

An aqua privy contains a sewage liquefaction and digestion tank in which sewage enters the tank by gravity, instead of flushing.

At present, 16 aqua privies have been converted out of 562 managed by the government.

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department also plans to convert another 30 aqua privies - in addition to the 100 - in the next conversion programme, but no details were released yesterday.

But the government has no plans to replace 352 of the toilets located in remote locations or those infrequently used. A department spokesman also said some of these could not be converted because their locations had no electricity and water supply.

Lo Wing-lok, vice-president of the Hong Kong Toilet Association, said aqua privies could pose serious hygiene problems.