The treated fresh water provided by the Water Supplies Department conforms fully to the World Health Organization's Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality. However, in order to ensure that consumers can enjoy good quality of water at the taps, building owners have to maintain their plumbing systems properly as well. To encourage the building owners to do this and with the endorsement of the Advisory Committee on the Quality of Water Supplies (ACQWS), the Water Supplies Department launched the Fresh Water Plumbing Quality Maintenance Recognition Scheme on 22 July 2002. Since 1 January 2008, the Scheme has been renamed as Quality Water Recognition Scheme for Buildings (referred to as the "Scheme" below) launching with a series of new features.
|This Scheme aims to:
||enable local residents and overseas visitors to have greater confidence of the water quality at the tap;
||strengthen the capability of building management agents to achieve value-added performance in meeting the needs of consumers with respect to quality of tap water;
||give recognition to those building management agents who can demonstrate consistent compliance of the prescribed criteria under the Scheme; and
||assist the owners, operators and building management agents to conduct self-assessments on plumbing conditions and to identity areas for necessary maintenance.
Participation of this Scheme is voluntary. The target groups to join this Scheme are the owners, operators and management agents of buildings in general. They shall submit applications or renewal applications to the Water Supplies Department using the Form A [PDF] and Annex 1 to Form A [PDF] (downloadable from http://www.wsd.gov.hk/).
- Benefits of Joining the Scheme
The successful applicants will be awarded one of three grades of Certificate to recognize proper maintenance of the plumbing systems inside a building for keeping the good quality of government supplied water throughout the inside service up to the consumers' taps. They are entitled to use this Certificate or its copy for display in their buildings, stationeries and promotional materials, subject to the guidelines issued by the Water Supplies Department.
- Criteria for Assessment of Applications
|The application will be assessed based on the following criteria:-
||The plumbing system is inspected at least once every three months by licensed plumbers or qualified building services engineers or building surveyors and is found to be in good physical condition.
||All defects identified in the inspections are promptly rectified by licensed plumbers or qualified persons.
||The water tanks are cleaned at least once every three months.
||Water samples are taken in accordance with the recommended procedure and tested for items specified, at least once a year for new application and at least once every two years for renewal application (see paragraph 8 below). The water sample(s) shall be taken within 3 months from the date of submission of the application or renewal and the test results shall comply with the acceptable limits of these water quality indicators.
- Administration of the Scheme
The Scheme is administered by the Water Supplies Department.
- Confidentiality of Applications
All applications will be kept confidential and only names of successful applicants will be publicized.
- Scheme Certificate
Starting from 1 January 2008, there are 3 grades of Certificates to awarded buildings according to the following criteria:
- Blue Certificates: New participation or continuous participation1 with less than 3 years;
- Silver Certificates: Continuous participation with 3 years or more but less than 5 years;
- Gold Certificates: Continuous participation with 5 years or more.
Certificates for new application will be valid for one year while Certificates for renewal applications submitted within 3 months before or after the expiry of last Certificates will be valid for two years.
Applications submitted later than 3 months after the expiry date of the last Certificates will be treated as new applications and the validity of such new Certificates will be reset for 1 year, starting from a new approval date.
The Certificate issued under the Scheme is the property of the Water Supplies Department, and signifies the recognition of proper maintenance of the plumbing system concerned, subject to the satisfactory maintenance of the plumbing system.
- Change of Building Management Company
When there is a change of building management companies during the validity period of the Certificate, the new company with the support from the Building Owner(s)/Incorporated Owners/Mutual Aid Committee has to submit within 1 month upon the change an "Undertaking Form for Incoming Building Management Company [PDF]" (Form B downloadable from http://www.wsd.gov.hk/) to Water Supplies Department for the Certificate to remain valid. This is to ensure that the new building management company will continue quality maintenance to the fresh water supply plumbing in the buildings that the outgoing company undertook to do so.
- Application and Renewal Fees
No application or renewal fees will be charged.
- Enquiry Contacts
Any enquiry on the Scheme can be referred to the Water Supplies Department Enquiry Hotline or by fax or by e-mail.
|Possible difficulties and related sources of information to resolve them:
||How to inspect and maintain fresh water plumbing systems properly?
||WSD pamphlet "Fresh Water Plumbing Maintenance Guide [PDF]" (downloadable from http://www.wsd.gov.hk/) provides advice.
||How to form and operate a owners' incorporation?
||Home Affairs Department Homepage (details from http://www.had.gov.hk/) "Formation Of Owners' Incorporation" encourages and assists owners to form owners' corporations for effective building management.
||How to get financial assistance?
||Building Department pamphlet "Building Safety Loan Scheme [PDF]" (downloadable from http://www.bd.gov.hk/) provides the details that individual owners of all types of private buildings (including domestic, composite, commercial and industrial buildings) can apply for financial assistance in carrying out works for improving the safety of their buildings (including water supply plumbing system) and/or private slopes.