Kwai Tsui Estate in the New Territories. Photo: Wikipedia, iStock
Kwai Tsui Estate in the New Territories. Photo: Wikipedia, iStock

Excessive levels of lead were found in tap water at a new public housing estate in Kwai Fong in the New Territories after new residents lodged complaints about water quality.

The Democratic Party said on Wednesday it had tested supplies at the Kwai Tsui Estate after residents who moved in three months ago said that their tap water was white and cloudy, Sing Pao reported.

The political party collected a total of eight samples, one of which had a lead concentration of 104 micrograms per liter, 10 times the World Health Organization’s recommended safe level of 10 micrograms per liter.

Three other samples from the estate had a lead content of between 10 and 16 mg. Two of the three remaining samples had 9 mg, and the other with 7 mg.

The Democratic Party said the sample it tested was water that had been stagnant for at least six hours, in accordance with the Water Supplies Department’s testing requirement.

The party member Ng Kim-sing, a Kwai Tsing district councillor, said the government seemed to have “learned nothing” from the contaminated-water scare at 11 public housing estates in 2015.

Ng said it was lucky the latest problem was discovered before the majority of residents moved in. The new estate’s 866 units will eventually house about 2,400 residents.

The Water Supplies Department and the Housing Department said they would conduct more tests for the affected flats, adding that the building contractor had tested the water in April and the results were within safe levels.