Excessive lead content has been found in the water supplies of two more schools, one of which is a top school in Hong Kong. They are the third and fourth educational institutes where lead contamination in water has been discovered.

Diocesan Boys’ School (DBS), a leading private school and one of the oldest in the city, announced on Thursday that the lead content of water at two of the school’s buildings exceeded safety standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The other school, CCC Heep Woh Primary School in Cheung Sha Wan, also ran tests and identified four areas on the ground floor and fifth floor with excessive lead content. The water supply in the staff room pantry was found to have lead content twice over WHO standards.

DBS, one of the schools that found excessive lead content in its water supply. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

DBS commissioned the contractor to conduct tests on water quality following the discovery of excessive lead content in Hong Kong’s housing estates in July. The school received the results on August 7, which showed lead contamination in its water supply in two areas.

Announcement of lead water contamination by DBS on Friday. Photo: dbs.edu.hk

Lead reduction filters were installed in buildings at DBS where water supply was affected. The installation was carried out on August 24 and tests were conducted. The affected areas will be blocked off until new test results show that the water is safe to be consumed.

CCC Heep Woh said that it will install filters and ensure that the water is safe for drinking.

CCC Heep Woh Primary School, another affected school. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Last week, SKH St Thomas’ Primary School examined its water supplies and found lead content more than three times above international safety standard in one sample. Another primary school in Shek Kip Mei found lead content in one water sample 21 times over safety standards this week.

The first case of lead contamination was discovered in July when a water sampling investigation was conducted at Kai Ching Estate in Kowloon City. Ten housing estates and four schools have been affected to date.

An independent commission chaired by a judge was appointed to investigate the lead-in-water scandal. The commission is expected to report in nine months.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.