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2018.02.1
Clean and Safe Drinking Water @ HKUST

In HKUST, more than 150 water fountains are installed around the campus and student halls, yet, some still insist on paying for bottled water.  Why?

Hong Kong enjoys one of the safest water supplies in the world, backed by constant monitoring the government to ensure good quality water to the citizens. It ensures that the drinking water quality complies with the World Health Organization's Guidelines for Drinking-Water Quality. 

In addition to government assurances, HKUST carries out different measures to deliver the best quality water for the HKUST community. Each campus water fountain is installed with filter and UV disinfection that removes particulates and kills bacteria.  Some items of note:

  1. Health, Safety and Environment Office (HSEO) has established a potable water monitoring program to assure the quality of potable water on campus.
  2. Water samples from drinking fountains, water tanks and water taps are constantly retrieved for tests. This testing ensures that potable water on campus complies strictly to WHO guidelines. 
  3. Facilities Management Office (FMO) has regularly scheduled fountain maintenance that includes changing the filter and UV light of the fountains. Maintenance support is provided by both the FMO and the vendor of the fountains.
  4. Water quality tests are also conducted as an integral part of the new campus building pre-occupancy environmental quality assessment exercise.

Certainly we can reduce plastic bottle consumption, especially considering that good quality of water is freely available for every one of us.  Therefore, there really is no reason to spend HKUST money to buy one-time disposable water bottles.  Here are some options transition away from single-use plastic water bottles:

  • Bring your reusable water bottle and refill it at one of our many fountains.
  • Prepare glass cups for meetings and guests and refill them in the office pantry.
  • Encourage the participants of your events to bring their own bottle or provide reusable cups to them by working with the caterer.
  • Remind guests that the drinking water is clean, safe, and delicious.

To celebrate our clean drinking water, HKUST launched a Bottled Water-free Campus Campaign in 2017-18 and will soon cease all sales of bottled water under 1 Liter on campus. New bottle-filling water fountains and attractive signs were installed to support the initiative. The majority of offices and departments have already signed up to support the Office start up program.  Has yours? Click here to sign up with more details.

If you have any feedback or thoughts on the initiative, please share with us at green@ust.hk.

 

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