All 14 beaches in Hong Kong’s Tuen Mun and Tsuen Wan districts are temporarily closed due to a suspected sewage leak, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday.
The leak is thought to be from the Pillar Point Sewage Treatment Works, discharging pollutants into the sea, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) was quoted as saying.
A malfunction occurred at the facility which underwent an upgrade in May, according to the report.
The beaches will be reopened only when water quality returns to normal levels.
Meanwhile, the Drainage Services Department has sent an emergency team to inspect the plant and fix any problems.
And the Environmental Protection Department is collecting water samples.
On Monday night, the agency issued a public health alert on the beaches and announced their temporary closure.
But on Tuesday morning, several swimmers were seen in the waters in question, with many saying they were unaware of the warning or they did not care.
The 14 beaches have a grade 1 (good) to grade 2 (average) water quality readings. Water quality across Hong Kong beaches are between good and poor (grade 4).
The affected beaches are Butterfly Beach, Castle Peak Beach, Kadoorie Beach, Cafeteria Old Beach, Cafeteria New Beach and Golden Beach in Tuen Mun, and Anglers’ Beach, Gemini Beaches, Hoi Mei Wan Beach, Casam Beach, Lido Beach, Ting Kau Beach, Approach Beach and Ma Wan Tung Wan Beach in Tuen Wan.
The Pillar Point Sewage Treatment Works is a primary screening and grit removal plant, providing treatment to sewage from the Tuen Mun area, with a treatment capacity of 5.79 cubic meter per second.
LCSD spent HK$1.45 billion this year to upgrade its sewage treatment level from preliminary treatment to chemically enhanced primary treatment with ultraviolet disinfection, the report said.
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