Testing for mercury contamination in Hong Kong

Scott Edmunds made this Freedom of Information request to Environmental Protection Department

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Environmental Protection Department,

I would like to know if you doing any testing for mercury levels in Hong Kong drinking or river/reservoir water, and if so can I have data on this. Do you also test for mercury in soil samples and do you have any data on this too. Particularly what are your guidelines and thresholds, what are the mean levels, and how many samples have failed your tests.

Yours faithfully,

Scott Edmunds

Environmental Protection Department

Thank you for your email dated 2018/02/05. We shall process it, where
appropriate, as soon as possible. For further enquiry, please address to
[Environmental Protection Department request email]
(This is a computer generated auto-reply)

謝謝你 2018/02/05 的電郵。我們會盡快處理。如有其他查詢,請電郵
[Environmental Protection Department request email]

Environmental Protection Department

Environmental Protection Department

Dear Mr Edmunds,
Thank you for your email dated 05.02.2018. Further to the auto-reply, we
would like to inform you that we are processing your request and may need
a few more days to come back to you.

Jason Lai
Environmental Protection Department

Environmental Protection Department

Dear Mr Edmunds,

I refer to your email dated 5 Feb 2018. Regarding your enquiry on the
testings for mercury levels in Hong Kong drinking water, we would like to
share with you the information below.

Under the River Water Quality Monitoring Programme of the Environmental
Protection Department, water samples are collected at major urban rivers
for subsequent laboratory chemical analyses of the water samples,
including mercury, by the Government Laboratory. The water quality data
are collected for our pollution control and enforcement against any
illegal discharge of polluted effluents. The data (year 1986-2016) could
be freely downloaded from our web site:


In general, water samples collected in recent years had mercury level
below the laboratory dectection limit of 1 ug/L, and did not suggest any
illegal pollution discharge. Please note that waters of our urban rivers
are not for potable use.

As supply of drinking water is outside the remit of this department, we do
not have a monitoring programme on the mercury level in drinking water,
reservoir water or soil.

Martin KY LEE
Water Policy and Science Group
Environmental Protection Department
Office Tel: 2594 6147