Responding to public concern about Macau’s tap water safety in the wake of Hong Kong’s tainted water scare, the local government said on Wednesday that the lead levels in the water supplied to the city’s public housing estates meet World Health Organisation (WHO) standards.
Government spokesman Victor Chan Chi Ping, Infrastructure Development Office (GDI) Director Chau Vai Man, Housing Bureau (IH) Director Ieong Kam Wa, Health Bureau (SSM) Director Lei Chin Ion, Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) President Alex Vong Iao Lek and Marine and Water Affairs Bureau (DSAMA) Director Susana Wong Soi Man gave a special press conference on Wednesday to announce the findings and allay public concern over the matter.
The press conference at Government Headquarters revealed that the government examined 99 water samples taken from 50 public housing buildings, of which 49 samples were taken from the buildings’ property management offices, earlier this month.
The results showed that Block 5 of Ip Heng Building in Seac Pai Van had the highest level of lead at 3.5 microgrammes per litre (µg/L), while the lowest levels were all less than 1.0 microgramme per litre.
Vong said this meant that the samples are below the red line of 10 microgrammes per litre, in accordance with criteria set by the World Health Organisation as being safe drinking water. He added that the remaining 50 samples were taken from empty flats in the buildings, and 70 percent of them had been analysed by on Wednesday.
The methods of analysing water lead levels, which involve running the tapwater for two to three minutes before taking a sample, have come under public scrutiny in Hong Kong. When asked by reporters about it, Vong and Lei said the government was following international standards when carrying out the tests, while Chan said the situation in Macau was different to Hong Kong.
“We have to emphasise one thing: It’s not like we have found problems in Macau’s water quality which needs a thorough investigation. The purpose of the tests is due to what has happened in Hong Kong,” said Chan, adding the test sampling was just a precautionary measure. (macaunews/macaupost)