Environment & Health Hong Kong

Lead in water 30% over safety standards at Urban Renewal Authority’s first subsidised flats – report

The Urban Renewal Authority’s first subsidised housing project recorded excessive lead content in their water supply, with one of the samples exceeding international standards by over 30 percent.

Local newspaper Apple Daily conducted a test on water samples from De Novo, which is located in Kai Tak to the west of Tak Long Estate. Among the four samples sent to a government-accredited laboratory, one sample had lead content of 13 micrograms per litre, which is 30 perecent over the World Health Organisation standard of 10 micrograms per litre. Another sample had lead content of nine micrograms per litre.

de novo

Artist Impression of De Novo. Photo: Stand News.

The URA started accepting applications for De Novo flats in early January. 338 flats are being sold at a 20 percent discount on their market price.

On Thursday, the URA issued a statement saying that the Water Supplies Department has strict regulations on water tests, and the reliability of samples taken by other parties is questionable. The URA also said they had already received a Certificate Regarding Water Supply from the Water Supplies Department for De Novo last year, Ming Pao reported.

Non-executive director of the URA Wu Chi-wai said it would be unacceptable if there was excessive lead content in water, and a comprehensive water test was thus required.

urban renewal authority

Urban Renewal Authority. File photo: Apple Daily.

The samples were collected on January 6 by an Apple Daily reporter. One sample was taken from each De Novo building, while the collection of samples was carried out according to the government-accredited laboratory ALS Global’s instructions, Apple Daily reported.

The first case of lead contamination happened in July 2015. Cases at other estates were subsequently found.

Lead in water 30% over safety standards at Urban Renewal Authority's first subsidised flats - report