Hong Kong’s drainage and sewerage facilities have been in place since the mid to late 19th century and operated under separate systems from the early 20th century to keep up with the development of our modern city. The flourishing industry and commerce, coupled with the rapid population growth, have generated greater public demand for and expectations of wastewater treatment and stormwater drainage. Established in 1989, the Drainage Services Department (DSD) has been committed to providing Hong Kong with world-class wastewater treatment and stormwater drainage services, and putting our motto “Do it from the Heart” into practice. In recent years, we have proactively explored and adopted highly efficient technologies, while endeavouring to promote sustainable drainage designs.
The 2015 Policy Address proposed to apply the concept of revitalising water bodies in large-scale drainage improvement works and drainage planning for new development areas, with a view to building a better living environment for the public. To this end, Blue-Green Infrastructure is essential. “Blue” symbolises water bodies and “Green” represents landscaping. In other words, Blue-Green Infrastructure means the integration of the natural environment, community features and modern elements into nullahs and river channels. Over the past few years, we have completed a number of pilot programmes (including the works at Ho Chung River in Sai Kung and drainage improvement works at Upper Lam Tsuen River in Tai Po), promoting biodiversity while boosting drainage capacities with remarkable results. We also conducted in late 2015 a consultancy study to put forward specific and feasible options for revitalising water bodies, taking Hong Kong’s unique environment into consideration.
In 2014-15, we continued to review the Drainage Master Plans to brace Hong Kong for challenges brought by climate change; and at the same time, carried out regular inspection of drainage facilities across the territory to keep drains clear and alleviate flood risks under inclement weather. Since DSD’s establishment in 1989, we have completed a total of 84 flood control projects and eliminated 121 flooding blackspots as of March 2015, reducing the number of blackspots to ten. For improvement works commissioned, their effectiveness is being monitored for timely removal of the relevant blackspots; while those for the other blackspots are under planning and construction. To mitigate flood risks in the vicinity of Happy Valley and Wan Chai, we launched the Happy Valley Underground Stormwater Storage Scheme in September 2012. The Phase 1 works with its stormwater storage tank of 30 000 cubic metres in capacity (equivalent to the volume of 12 standard swimming pools) were put into operation in March 2015.
As regards wastewater treatment, all deep sewage tunnels for the Harbour Area Treatment Scheme Stage 2A were entirely broken through in September 2014 and the major works were completed in early 2015. After successful testing and trial runs, Stage 2A came into full operation in late 2015, further improving the water quality of Victoria Harbour. For the Relocation of Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works to Caverns, we awarded in October 2014 a consultancy agreement for the major works, commencing, inter alia, design, impact assessments, site investigation and public engagement activities for the construction.
Energy saving and emission reduction is a public concern as well as our mission. During 2014-15, we introduced international energy management systems at various sewage treatment facilities, with that implemented at the Yuen Long Sewage Treatment Works passing the ISO 50001 Energy Management System certification audit, the first of its kind for DSD. Moreover, two sewage pumping stations in Ho Pong Street, Tuen Mun and Hung Hom Bay obtained the ISO 55001 Asset Management System certification, making DSD one of the pioneers of such accreditation among the government departments.
Our services are closely related to the public’s daily life. That is why we strive to connect with the community and strengthen communication with stakeholders. The year 2014-15 marked the 25th anniversary of DSD. In celebration of this occasion with the public, we put our heads together via the “Best Silver Jubilee Activity Proposal Competition for DSD’s 25th Anniversary”, and held a series of events, comprising the Orienteering-On-Bike Fun Day, Guided Tours in Community, etc. We also hosted our maiden international conference, successfully inviting local and overseas academic institutions and professional organisations to join and exchange knowledge and experience.
Time flied and we have served the public for over a quarter-century. Our fruitful achievements have hitherto hinged on team spirit and concerted efforts of our staff, the most precious asset. That is why one of our missions is to enhance a caring, harmonious, safe and healthy work environment that fosters staff development and a mindset for change. Therefore, during the year, we continued to improve the workplace through the Occupational Health and Safety Management System, and strengthened communication with our staff via the Goodwill Visits Programme and Staff Consultative Committees to understand their concerns. We also provided diverse training courses for our staff to help broaden their horizons and encouraged them to participate in volunteer services for work-life balance as well as community contribution.
Looking ahead, every one of us in DSD will for sure move with the times and uphold our motto “Do it from the Heart” to deliver quality services and facilitate the sustainable development of Hong Kong.
Edwin TONG Ka-hung
Director of Drainage Services