Increase in buildings awarded under Quality Water Recognition Scheme (with photo)

More buildings have been awarded gold and silver certificates this year under the Quality Water Recognition Scheme for Buildings (QWRSB), thanks to an enhancement feature to promote continuous participation.

The feature, among several implemented since January 1, 2008, introduced three grades of certificates for awardee buildings. They are gold certificates (continuous participation of five years or more), silver certificates (continuous participation of three years or more but less than five) and blue certificates (new participation or continuous participation of less than three years).

The total number of buildings awarded with gold and silver certificates has increased from 500 last year to more than 800 this year while the number of buildings awarded blue certificates has increased from 1,500 last year to more than 1,900 this year. The significant increase in the number of awarded buildings also indicated improvements in the management of fresh water plumbing systems in buildings.

QWRSB is a voluntary scheme that encourages property owners, owners' corporations and building management agents to regularly maintain their fresh water plumbing systems.

At a ceremony today (August 25), the Water Supplies Department (WSD) presented certificates to property owners, owners' corporations, property management companies, management agents of hospitals, hotels, schools, universities and public institutions to recognise their efforts in proper maintenance of their fresh water plumbing systems.

"Since its introduction last year, the enhancement features have been widely supported by property owners, owners' corporations, property management companies, and management agents.  There are more than 2,700 valid certificates, representing an encouraging increase of 30% from last year.  The cumulative number of households having benefited from this scheme is more than 1.16 million," the Director of Water Supplies, Mr Ma Lee-tak, said at the ceremony.

Mr Ma appealed to awardees to support the voluntary Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (WELS), which will soon be launched by the department. The concept of the scheme is similar to that of the Energy Efficiency Labelling Scheme and is aimed at helping consumers choose water saving devices.  The WELS will inform consumers of the level of water consumption and efficiency of plumbing fixtures and appliances used in bathrooms, toilets, kitchens and laundries. It will be implemented in phases for different groups of items and the first item will be showerheads.

Officiating at the ceremony, the Chairman of the Advisory Committee on the Quality of Water Supplies, Professor Ho Kin-chung, said fresh water on Earth was limited and people should treasure water resources while enjoying quality water. The WSD has reinforced education of primary students on water conservation by launching a campaign,"Water Conservation Starts from Home".  It sends ambassadors to primary schools to explain to students the importance and scarcity of fresh water and share with them water saving tips.  It has also organised a water saving competition to encourage students to apply the saving tips with their families.

Professor Ho said that he was pleased to see that many water saving activities had been organised by different sectors of the community to promote water conservation.  

Buildings joining the QWRSB have to ensure that their fresh water plumbing systems are inspected every three months by licensed plumbers or qualified building services surveyors or engineers and that the systems are confirmed to be in good condition.  All defects identified in the inspections should be promptly rectified. The water tanks also need to be cleaned every three months.

Water samples are taken in accordance with the recommended procedures and tested for items specified once a year for new applications and once every two years for renewal applications. The water samples should be taken within three months from the date of submission of the application or renewal and the test results should comply with the acceptable limits of water quality indicators.

Details of the scheme and application procedures are available on the department's website, ( Information can also be obtained from the department's 24-hour enquiry hotline: 2824 5000.

Ends/Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Issued at HKT 17:30


The Director of Water Supplies, Mr Ma Lee-tak, speaks at the certificate presentation ceremony of Quality Water Recognition Scheme for Buildings today (August 25).