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DSD is committed to realising environmental management principles in every aspect of its operations. We gather the latest information in this field through duty visits and regular meetings with green groups. DSD also actively introduces innovative engineering techniques and management practices, incorporating sustainability elements such that our drainage facilities pose minimal impact to the environment during the course of construction and operation.

Blue-Green Infrastructure

DSD actively implements the concept of revitalising water bodies. In construction works for nullahs and rivers, we give priority to greening, biodiversity and aesthetic improvements in addition to ensuring effective drainage. Through Blue-Green Infrastructure, we hope to provide citizens with rivers suffused with lush greens and pristine blues, so as to offer more opportunities for the citizens to get closer to water bodies.

Blue-Green Infrastructure
  • Blue refers to rivers and water bodies, whereas green refers to greening landscapes.
  • Build a drainage layout in urban areas that interweaves the natural environment with community characteristics and contemporary functions.

Kai Tak River Improvement Works

We are currently proceeding with Kai Tak River Improvement Works. In addition to upgrading drainage capacities, we are also taking this opportunity to inject aesthetic, greening, landscaping and ecological elements, thus revitalising the nullah into an urban green river along a serene emerald corridor.

The water quality of Kai Tak River has been improved in recent years, and various species of birds and fish can now be found within it. Once the works are complete, Kai Tai River will be brimming with life as a green river corridor for public enjoyment and recreation.

Kai Tai River post-rehabilitation, artist's impression

Kai Tai River post-rehabilitation, artist's impression


Little egret (Egretta garzetta) (photographed at Kai Tak River construction site)

Energising Kowloon East Initiative: Revitalisation of Tsui Ping River

We are undertaking revitalisation works in Kowloon East in order to convert a nullah approximately 1 kilometre long running along King Yip Street, King Yip Lane and Tsui Ping Road into “Tsui Ping River”. To echo with the theme, the adjacent pedestrian paths will also be beautified as part of the project, improving connectivity between pavements through e.g. building riverside walkways and landscape decking.

Energising Kowloon East: Revitalising Tsui Ping River, artist's impression

Energising Kowloon East: Revitalising Tsui Ping River, artist's impression

Practice Note “Guidelines on Environmental and Ecological Considerations for River Channel Design”

To further promote green river channel design within the industry, DSD released Practice Note No. 1/2015 “Guidelines on Environmental and Ecological Considerations for River Channel Design” in 2015 (The Practice Note). The new Practice Note advocates the concept of Blue-Green Infrastructure concepts, provides technical guidance in various areas, and includes case studies to illustrate the practical application of river channel design.

Roof Greening

Roof greening not only improves air quality, lower indoor temperature and reduce building energy consumption, but also enhances the building appearance, and improves the biodiversity of the surrounding environment. When identifying suitable sites for green roofs, we will engage qualified assessors to ascertain viable locations and design prior to construction.

Sham Shui Po Nos.1 and 2 Sewage Screening Plants

Kowloon City No. 1 and No. 2 Sewage Pumping Stations were bestowed the highest Platinum rating under BEAM Plus Assessment for New Buildings in late 2015, a first-time award for government infrastructure facilities. BEAM Plus New Buildings is a comprehensive environmental assessment system for buildings recognised by the Hong Kong Green Building Council.

Themed “Oasis for the Soul”, the stations stand apart from conventional drainage facilities with their exemplary performance in siting, exterior, energy use, water utilisation, choice of materials, indoor environmental quality and innovation.

Kowloon City No. 1 Sewage Pumping Station

Kowloon City No. 1 Sewage Pumping Station

Combating Climate Change

HKSAR Government first established the Inter-departmental Working Group on Climate Change in 2007, which was led by the Environment Bureau and comprising representatives from 16 departments including DSD. DSD plays a vital role in helping Hong Kong adapt to and mitigate climate change. As we review Drainage Master Plans (DMPs) and improve the city’s flood defences, we take into account the impact of climate change and undertake drainage improvement works deemed necessary. The Department is also dedicated to doing its part in reducing climate change through its many energy conservation and emission reduction measures at its facilities, such as introducing efficient sewage treatment technologies, using renewable energy and utilising biogas for electricity generation.

Carbon Auditing

We conduct carbon audits at our plants to identify sources and quantities of greenhouse gas emissions, thereby implementing corresponding measures to lower energy consumption, enhance efficiency and reduce overall emissions.

Total Carbon Emission of 8 Major STWs of DSD in 2014 (tonnes of CO2 equivalent)

Implementing Various Energy Conservation Measures

We have seen excellent results in the reduction of energy usage and carbon emissions at our operations in recent years. By optimising and replacing operational facilities in STWs, installing photovoltaic (PV) panels, switching to light-emitting diodes (LEDs) etc., we managed to save about 1.69 million kilowatt-hours of electrical energy in 2015-161 (equivalent to reducing 1,176 tonnes of CO2)2.

(1) 2006-07 as baseline year
(2) Using Hong Kong-wide default values of 0.7kg CO2 equivalent per kWh

Using Electric Vehicles

As of March 2016, we currently have 20 EVs in our fleet with a combined mileage of about 254,000 kilometres during 2015-16. We plan to further encourage the use of EV by identifying suitable locations within our facilities for the installation of medium EV chargers.

Energy Conversion from Biogas

DSD installed five combined heat and power (CHP) generators with a combined electrical generation capacity of 3,600 kilowatts at Sha Tin, Tai Po and Shek Wu Hui STWs, using biogas to generate electricity to partially offset the electrical demand of the plants. During the year, we generated over 32 million kilowatt-hours of electricity using biogas, which is about 28% increase as compared with 2010-11.

Food Waste/Sewage Sludge Anaerobic Co-Digestion Pilot Trial

DSD and the Environmental Protection Department are implementing the sixyear Food Waste/ Sewage Sludge Anaerobic Co-Digestion Pilot Trial at Tai Po STW. After commissioning in 2018, it is anticipated that the relevant facilities would treat a maximum of approximately 50 tonnes food waste per day.

Installing Photovoltaic Panels

Large-scale PV systems, either off-grid or on-grid, have been deployed at DSD facilities to power on-site equipment. They include sewage treatment works at Yuen Long, Shek Wu Hui, Stonecutters Island, Siu Ho Wan, and Sandy Bay. With the completion of the PV system installation in Siu Ho Wan STW in end 2016, the combined generation capacity of all PV systems in our sites will be about 1,250 kilowatts.

The PV system at Siu Ho Wan STW

The PV system at Siu Ho Wan STW

Water Resources Management

DSD has incorporated concepts of sustainable water resources management into its newly constructed facilities, raising their water resources utilisation rates. Major design elements include rainwater harvesting systems (RHS), underground stormwater storage systems, rain gardens and porous permeable pavements. Associated projects completed in recent years include Kowloon City Sewage Pumping Stations Nos. 1 and 2, Lai Chi Kok Drainage Tunnel, and Happy Valley Underground Stormwater Storage Scheme.

DSD fully supports the Government’s proposals regarding the use of reclaimed water. In 2015-16, DSD reclaimed water at an average rate of approximately 1,460 cubic metres per day for non-potable purposes.

Water cascade irrigated by RHS at Kowloon City Sewage Pumping Station No. 1

Water cascade irrigated by RHS at Kowloon City Sewage Pumping Station No. 1

Green Office

Apart from incorporating green elements into our projects and sewage treatment facilities, we strive to improve the Department’s environmental performance by realizing green office concepts at our Headquarters.

In terms of energy saving, we have recorded a progressive drop in electricity consumption over time: In 2015-16, we recorded an approximately 16% reduction in energy consumption at Headquarters compared to that in 2010-11. On the other hand, office operations tend to generate quite a lot of paper waste. In view of this, we have established paper saving guidelines and actively promoted “paperless meetings”.

In 2015-16, we
  • held about 265 paperless meetings and circulated over 2,113 relevant documents electronically
  • used about 9,608 reams of paper, a decrease of approximately 31% compared to 2009-10
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