Welcome to our first Sustainability Report. This report shares with you our major achievements and initiatives for 2012-13 and our future commitment to sewage collection and treatment as well as flood prevention.
Our vision is "to provide world-class wastewater and stormwater drainage services enabling the sustainable development of Hong Kong". To achieve this, we have to efficiently manage our operations, while meeting the ever-changing sewerage and stormwater drainage needs of an increasing population, and at the same time minimizing their environmental impact. Our commitment to sustainability drives us to improve our use of advanced technology and workflow in order to deliver solutions which benefit the environment, our stakeholders and the people of Hong Kong.
2012-13 is a fruitful year for the Drainage Services Department in the area of flood prevention. The commissioning of the Hong Kong West Drainage Tunnel, Lai Chi Kok Drainage Tunnel and Tsuen Wan Drainage Tunnel has substantially improved the overall flood protection level of the urban areas in northern Hong Kong Island, western Kowloon, Tsuen Wan and Kwai Chung districts as sufficient interception of surface runoff at uphill catchments is now in place. A number of flood prevention projects at strategic locations are also in good progress. During the year, we have eliminated two more flooding blackspots at Ha Wo Che Village in Sha Tin and Ling Tsui Tau Tsuen in Mui Wo after satisfying that the flood prevention measures commissioned in previous years are taking effect as designed.
Climate change, which brings extreme weather events and rising sea levels, poses challenges to our flood prevention work. We will, therefore, step up efforts to review and update our Drainage Master Plans so as to formulate viable strategies in response to the challenges. One of our initiatives in this regard is to study the feasibility of incorporating porous pavement design in our upcoming Drainage Master Plan Review Studies.
Sewage Collection, Treatment and Disposal
On sewerage services, we are pressing ahead with our sewerage projects. Facing mounting expectations for improving the water quality of Victoria Harbour, we forged ahead with the Harbour Area Treatment Scheme (HATS) since 1990's. The commissioning of HATS Stage 1 in 2001, which conveys sewage collected from Kowloon and the northeastern part of Hong Kong Island to Stonecutters Island Sewage Treatment Works for chemically enhanced primary treatment, can serve a population of 4.5 million. The re-introduction of the Cross Harbour Swim since 2011 was made possible as the water quality of the Harbour has drastically improved. When the Stage 2A completes in 2014-15, HATS will then be able to serve the whole population on both sides of the Harbour. To improve the sanitary condition and water quality in the rural areas of Hong Kong, we have been carrying out village sewerage works in North District, Tai Po, Sha Tin, Yuen Long, Kam Tin, Tuen Mun, Tseung Kwan O, Sai Kung, and the outlying islands. Over 150 villages have benefitted from new public sewerage systems, while sewerage works in more than 80 villages are now underway.
Sustainability is a concern that has been prominent in all aspects of our daily operations, sewerage and stormwater drainage services alike. We well understand that research and development is one of the keys to sustainability.
Optimising the sewage treatment process is one of our key initiatives in research and development. Since 2007, we have collaborated with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology to study the "Sulphate reduction, Autotrophic denitrification and Nitrification Integrated (SANI) Process" in Tung Chung. Initial results have shown that sewage sludge, subsequent treatment costs and space requirements, as well as greenhouse gas emissions could be significantly reduced. We would conduct further trials on the SANI Process in a larger scale at Shatin Sewage Treatment Works commencing in April 2013.
On resources conservation, we have made the first attempt in rainwater harvesting at two of our sewage pumping stations in Kowloon City in order to facilitate collection and utilisation of our precious water resource appropriately.
As for reduction of carbon emissions, we are actively implementing various energy saving measures, conducting carbon audits and using renewable energy. In 2012-13, we successfully met our target and further reduced the energy consumption by 1.3 million kilowatt-hours, which is equivalent to the consumption of approximately 240 four-member families in a year.
Proper communication with the public is the foundation of people-oriented services. We have all along maintained close liaison with relevant stakeholders via various channels to collect their views on our sewerage and stormwater drainage projects as well as maintenance works. During the year, various stakeholder engagement activities were arranged for our projects and studies, viz. HATS Stage 2A, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of Kai Tak River, Relocation of Shatin Sewage Treatment Works to Caverns, etc. as we are eager to find solutions that are beneficial to the people whom we serve and work together.
Care of Staff
Our achievements hinge on our staff. We pride ourselves on our commitment to implement the OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System, which provides a systematic and proactive approach to enhance workplace safety for our staff. With the concerted efforts of our staff, we successfully obtained the certification of OHSAS 18001 in December 2012.
We will continue to strive for low-carbon efficiency and best environmental practices with a view to providing Hong Kong people with a cleaner, safer and better living environment. We will make sure our planned activities are contributing to environmentally-sound solutions that lead to a sustainable future.
I hope you find this Sustainability Report informative and interesting. You are most welcome to let us know your views by completing and returning the feedback form in the Report to our email address: [email protected].
Director of Drainage Services