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CE visits Water Supplies Department

The Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, today (May 9) visited the Water Supplies Department to better understand its work in receiving and distributing raw water supply from Dongjiang, as well as controlling the quality of water supplied to the public.

Accompanied by the Director of Water Supplies, Mr Chan Chi Chiu, the Chief Executive toured the Tai Po Water Treatment Works. With a production capacity of 250,000 cubic metres a day, the treatment works started operation in late 2003 to produce treated water to Tai Po and Kowloon areas.

The treatment works was awarded the Global Grand Prize Winner as well as being the Regional Prize Winner in the Design Category of the International Water Association Project Innovation Awards in 2006. Mr Tsang said he was glad to see that the treatment works was specifically designed to take advantage of the most advanced technologies in producing high quality drinking water.

The Chief Executive visited the Main Control Room where the wide-ranging water treatment processes are centrally controlled and monitored by an intricate Distributed Control System.

At the laboratory, he was told that water quality in each treatment process had been examined using sophisticated chemical and bacteriological testing methods. Mr Tsang commended the operations and laboratory staff for their professionalism in enabling Hong Kong to enjoy one of the safest water supplies in the world.

The Chief Executive then watched the clarification of raw water by dissolved air floatation units, and the removal of ammonia and manganese by primary aerated biological filters.

Mr Tsang was pleased that the quality of the Dongjiang water supply had maintained marked improvement since the commissioning of the dedicated Dongjiang-Shenzhen aqueduct system in mid-2003. He also appreciated the department's effort in maintaining the quality of its treated water supply to comply fully with the Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality recommended by the World Health Organisation.

During his visit, Mr Tsang was given an overview of the operation of the department. He was particularly concerned about recent reports of alleged overcharging of water bills.

He said the department had put in place a mechanism to ensure correctness of meter readings and billing. These included the systematic replacement of the older meters and the provision of built-in "out-range alerts" in the PDAs used by the Meter Readers so that they would be alerted to check and re-input the meter reading when their new reading appears to be inconsistent with previous consumptions.

Before ending his visit, the Chief Executive met frontline staff to learn more about their challenges at work. He praised them for their dedicated effort in providing reliable and quality potable water to the people of Hong Kong.

Ends/Wednesday, May 9, 2007


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