The government will install water filters at public and direct subsidy schools built after 2005, Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim confirmed on Thursday. However, the water supplies at schools will not be tested.

Ng said that some 70 government and direct subsidy schools are to receive filters and the process will be completed during September.

“Instead of waiting for the results [of water testing] and remaining unsure, it is more direct to install certified water filters to reduce the risks of water contamination instantly,” Ng said.

The Government Logistics Department will assist in buying filters for eligible institutions.

File photo – Eddie Ng Hak-kim. Photo: GovHK.

The government has resisted testing the water supply at all schools, saying that students “are not in the school for a long period of time, and they do not drink water from schools on a long term basis.”

Ng said that government-subsidised schools which are not covered by the government’s plan can use their subsidies to pay for water filters. He recommended that privately owned kindergartens should consider installing water filters themselves as soon as possible.

Another housing estate affected

The government also confirmed that Ching Ho Estate Phase One in Sheung Shui is the latest public housing estate to test positive for excessive lead in its water supply. Ten out of 145 water samples from the estate read 11 to 43 micrograms per litre, over the World Health Organization safety standard of 10 micrograms per litre. The lead was found in soldering material used in pipes at the estate.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.