Five more estates have been found to have water contaminated with lead, according to government reports released on Friday.

The list includes Shui Chuen O estate, Kwai Chung estate, Choi Tak estate, Tin Ching estate and Yee Ming estate. The government previously said that water at Shui Chuen O estate did not contain lead in excess of safety levels, according to Apple Daily.

Photo: HKFP/Apple Daily.

Samples were taken from 17 estates and 11 samples, from the five estates, were found to be contaminated. All of the estates were all built after 2005 and involved five different contractors. The companies included China State Construction, Yau Lee Construction and Paul Y Engineering – three companies already found to be involved in other lead water contamination cases.

The two other companies Hanison Construction and Hsin Chong Construction, responsible for Yee Ming estate and Choi Tak estate respectively, according to Apple Daily.

The government’s method of collecting water samples was criticised last year for using the “fully flushed” method – collecting samples after letting water run for two to five minutes.

File photo: Apple Daily.

In his report, Professor Joseph Lee found that the number of contaminated samples collected was 47.2 percent as opposed to 8 percent for “fully flushed” samples when using the “first flush” method – taking samples immediately without letting the water run, and subsequent samples at twenty second intervals.

Professor John Fawell, the author of another report, also suggested the government set up a separate department or organisation for monitoring water safety.

The reports were commissioned by the the Commission of Inquiry into Excess Lead Found in Drinking Water, as appointed by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying last year to investigate the lead water scandal.

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Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.