04 Aug Luxury estate latest fail in excess lead-in-water saga – The Standard
Lead-contaminated water has been found in a luxury private estate in Kowloon Tong, prompting its management company to test all 44 flats in the project.The owners’ corporation committee at The Caldecott took samples on July 17 from a clubhouse kitchen tap, and the Savills Guardian management conducted the tests.
Tests found 19 micrograms of lead per liter of water, exceeding the World Health Organization’s limit of 10 micrograms.Water from kitchen taps from all flats in The Caldecott will be tested, with the fee for the tests to be taken from the management fund.The former government quarters was sold to KWah Real Estates in 2001 in a land auction and rebuilt into a two-block luxury estate with only 44 homes. Residents moved in in 2004.Hugo Kan Kwok-leung, spokesman for six plumbers’ organizations, said new estates are more likely to have unstable water quality because “substances in the pipes would be dissolving in a more unstable manner in water in the first five years of completion of the building.”
A Water Supplies Department spokesman said if excessive lead is found in water, residents should ask professionals to check their water chain system.Another luxury private residence, The Austin in Jordan, was also exposed by local media as having excessive levels of lead in its tap water on July 18.Lam Yi-lai of the Hong Kong Awakening Association cooperated with water quality expert Tsui Fai-po to conduct 16 water sampling tests among private housing estates and found excessive lead in The Austin. The New World Construction Company-owned private estate was only completed this year.
“I don’t see a direct relationship that lead-contaminated water is less likely to be found in luxury housing estates, or that it is more likely to be found because public housing estates cost less,” Kan said. “No matter where construction companies source the parts used for buildings, they are supposed to follow guidelines that guarantee the quality of materials.”
Meanwhile, 20 members from the Federation of Public Housing Estates demanded the government apologize over the water problem.”Government officials would make public apologies or even resign to bear responsibility for public housing problems in the past. But up until now, not a single person has apologized to the residents,” said the federation’s Scott Leung Man-kwong.Separately, a 65-year-old male resident of lead-affected Wing Cheong Estate in Sham Shui Po is in critical condition at Caritas Medical Centre with legionnaire’s disease. Another sufferer, a Kwun Tong man, 56, is stable in United Christian Hospital.