Excessive bacteria, chemicals found in Hong Kong drinking water

December 10, 2015 13:49
Plover Cove Reservoir stores water from Dongjiang River. Tests have found excessive amounts of bacteria and chemicals in Hong Kong's drinking water. Photo: Xinhua

Drinking water from China's Dongjiang River has been found to contain excessive amounts of bacteria and chemicals.

As many as six times the safety standard for the e. coli bacteria were found in samples by inspectors from the Water Supplies Department, Ming Pao Daily reports.

It said phosphorus, a chemical found in fertilizers and animal feces, was 0.057 milligram per liter of sample, the highest reading in the past 10 years.

However, lead content was well within World Health Organization limits.

The samples were tested in October last year and September this year.

The findings came after environmental activist group Greenpeace said in a report this month that three drinking water reservoirs in Hong Kong that store water from Dongjiang were found to contain high concentrations of perfluorinated compounds that could cause cancer.

Chan Hon-fai, chairman of an advisory committee that jointly conducted the tests, said polluted water might have come from flooding of the Shenzhen reservoir which has been tainted with fertilizer residue and animal waste.

He said Guangdong province is expected to launch filtration measures in 2018.

Provincial officials have been briefed about Hong Kong's concerns, Chan said.

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