Hong Kong Sources Tap Water from China

The purity of drinking water is extremely important to us at WaterChef. At the supermarket, we take the time to examine where our produce and meats come from.  So why is it any different with the water we drink? We believe it’s equally important to be informed of where the water in our home taps comes from, and how to make sure it’s the healthiest and purest possible for our bodies. So where does Hong Kong tap water come from?

You may not be aware that 70-80% of Hong Kong’s public water is actually sourced from China, from the Dongjiang river. The local catchments which source from rainfall only make up 20-30% of water used in Hong Kong.

Dongjiang is a tributary of the Pearl River, which flows through Guangdong province. It provides water not only for Hong Kong, but also for Heyuan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen.

Guangdong authorities are responsible for maintaining the quality of the water from Dongjiang, and the Hong Kong Water Supplies Department also monitors it once it arrives in the city’s reception point.

The water is treated using “chemical coagulation, sedimentation (at most treatment works), filtration, disinfection by chlorination, pH value adjustment, chlorination and fluoridation” (source: Water Supplies Department).

Although the drinking water meets general WHO standards, what concerns us are all the additional contaminants, even in tiny trace amounts, which technically meet standards, but can still be harmful to our bodies.

In fact, the Water Supplies Department states on their website that “A small amount of residual chlorine is maintained in the treated water to prevent contamination in its journey to your tap.”

On top of this, there is also no monitoring of the pipes on private properties that deliver water from the city sources to individual home taps. Recent scandals regarding lead in water prove that not all housing developments are trustworthy when it comes to quality of drinking water pipes.

This is why when it comes to Hong Kong drinking water and the health of our loved ones and families, we prefer to use our premium drinking water filters to guarantee that the water we consume is safe and healthy.

We’ll be continuing this investigation into the safety of drinking water in Hong Kong. So follow along on our blog & Facebook page!

Source: https://www.wsd.gov.hk/en/core-businesses/total-water-management-strategy/dongjiang-water/index.html


Artesian Water – What You Need to Know

If you’ve walked through any supermarket or convenience store in Hong Kong, you’ve likely seen fancy bottles of “Artesian Water” being sold at premium prices to regular bottled water. But what is Artesian Water and is it really better? We’re here to break it down for you.

What is Artesian Water?

Artesian water is simply a type of spring water that comes from artesian wells. It is a type of spring water that, because of the pressure of its underground flow, naturally forces itself to the surface without requiring a manmade pump.

The Debate

Some argue that because of the force of the water as it comes to the surface, it is naturally filtered. However most artesian water isn’t that different from well water, which means it can contain contaminants that regularly found in natural water like pesticides, bacteria, viruses, lead, and more.

Some of the companies don’t filter their artesian water, claiming the water is “untouched” until you drink it, which sounds lovely but doesn’t indicate that all harmful contaminants have been removed by the highest possible degree.

Impact on the Environment

Although there is ongoing debate over whether artesian water is really a better form of spring water, what there isn’t debate about is this:

Bottled Artesian water that you find at the stores are not good for the environment. Anytime you are consuming water in a bottle for one time use, is going to negatively affect the environment.

Disposable plastic bottles being the worse offender, as plastic often ends up polluting our oceans. Even recycling takes unnecessary resources and not all plastic is able to be recycled.

Additionally, research has recently shown that tiny particles of plastic have been found in 90% of water bottled in disposable plastic bottles. That means you are consuming plastic if you drink water from disposable plastic bottles.

In the end, the best and safest choice is to use your own reusable water bottle, and fill it with carbon filtered tap water, which removes over 99% of harmful contaminants AND leaves the good minerals in the water. Home filtration systems like the WaterChef Countertop or Under-sink filters make it easy to have access to safe, clean, healthy water AND helps protect our environment.

Source: AquasanaMedicineNet

Beneficial Minerals in Tap Water

We’ve been covering the many harmful contaminants that can exist in Hong Kong tap water, but we also want to share some of the beneficial minerals that can exist in our public drinking water.

From a Drinking Water Quality report by the Hong Kong Water Services Department dated October 2017 – September 2017, it is reported that the following beneficial minerals are found in our tap water: Calcium, Magnesium, Chloride, Iron, and Manganese.

How Minerals in Water Help Our Body

These are all helpful minerals to our body if consumed in the right amounts. Although they can also be found in foods, consuming them through water help to balance out our body’s needs for these minerals.

  • Calcium – beneficial for bone health, may also help prevent cancer
  • Magnesium – for heart health, digestion, relieves tension in muscles and nerves
  • Chloride – helps with body’s nutrient absorption and maintains blood pressure
  • Iron – increases hemoglobin production (for healthy blood) , improves brain functions, can cure chronic diseases
  • Manganese – for healthy bones, prevents osteoperosis, fights diabetes, contributes to lung & repiratory health

How to keep these minerals in your water

Distillation and reverse osmosis filtration processes deplete beneficial minerals from water and can also make the water acidic. Moreover, these filtration methods produce a lot of water waste.

Some bottled waters found in stores do add minerals back into their distilled water, however, drinking bottled water is hugely damaging to our environment as it leaves behind a trail of plastic waste.

However, our WaterChef carbon block filtration systems allow beneficial minerals to remain in your drinking water while simultaneously removing harmful contaminants like chlorine, chloramines, lead, pesticides, herbicide, cysts, petroleum byproducts and more.

To find out more about our water filters, browse our shop.




Pesticides and Herbicides in Hong Kong Water

Of the top contaminants in our tap water, pesticides & herbicides, which are used to kill instects, rodents, and weed, rank high on the list. These chemicals run off from the plants or ground they are applied to and end up in our water supply.

Most public water filtration systems targets bacteria or other large particles, but do not emphasize filtering out pesticides or herbicides. That is why it is likely that the tap water you are drinking in Hong Kong is contaminated with these dangerous chemicals.

Effects on Human Health

Exposure to pesticides and herbicides through drinking water or showers can have many negative effects. The exact effects may depend on the type of pesticide.

Because the nature of the chemicals are to kill unwanted organisms, overexposure to pesticides & herbicides can be detrimental to human neurological health. Certain pesticides have shown to cause hypersensitivity, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and more. Others can decrease blood pressure, or cause muscle weakness and fatigue.

Some studies have also linked food allergies to exposure to pesticides in drinking water. Skin irritation can also result through showering in pesticide-contaminated water.

As with all contaminants, the effects are greater on children as they are smaller and the same amount of pesticide contamination can have a magnified impact on them. Pregnant women should also avoid contaminated water as it can affect her baby’s development.

How to Filter out Pesticides and Herbicides from Your Water

The best way to remove pesticides and herbicides from water is through Carbon Block water filtration technology. WaterChef filters use this technology and remove 99% of contaminants from your tap water.






Lead in Hong Kong Tap Water

In 2015, Hong Kong faced one of its worst drinking water scandals when high levels of lead were found in the water supply of many public housing estates. The government has worked to fix those incidents but the issue of lead in water inevitably remains.

Even though the amount of lead in tap water may now fall below the WHO safety limits, scientists have agreed that no level of lead in tap water is actually “safe”, for children or adults.

Lead can still get into our water through corrosion in the pipes it passes through to reach our tap, and is especially likely to happen when the water has high acidity or low mineral content. Even our faucet fixtures may have lead solder which can cause lead to leak into our water, particularly when using hot water.

Health Effects

The health effects of lead exposure through water are significant. In children, exposure to lead has been linked to nervous system damage, learning disabilities, hearing problems and anemia. In adults, lead can cause cardiovascular problems, kidney damage and reproductive problems.

It’s also important to note that the same amount of lead which may not affect adults can be extremely dangerous to children.

How to Remove Lead from Tap Water

WaterChef water filters are capable of removing lead from tap water. In fact, our patented carbon block technology is able to remove 99% of contaminants from drinking water. To find out more, browse www.waterchef.com.hk.


The Dangers of Chlorine in Drinking Water

Drinking water used to be unsafe because of harmful organisms that lived in it. The government sought to fix this problem by introducing chlorine into public water as an inexpensive disinfectant. While chlorine is effective in eliminating harmful microbes, it has come to light that chlorinated water and its byproducts, can be extremely dangerous to our bodies.

Chlorinated Water and Cancer

The element chlorine on its own is a dangerous, corrosive gas. It is changed to liquid form and mixed into drinking water. Governments claim that the amount of dilution of chlorine makes it safe for our bodies to intake, but more research is showing this is not the case. In fact, researchers have recently been linking chlorine in drinking water to increased likeliness of developing cancers – particularly bladder, rectal and breast cancers. This should no doubt be concerning to all who drink tap water regularly.

Chlorine By-Products

But wait, there’s more – chlorine in water reacts to organic compounds which create chlorine byproducts such as trihalomethanes (commonly abbreviated as THM). THMs enter into our bodies and turn into free radicals, which are known to cause harm to vital cells and our organs.

Beyond drinking water, we can even breathe in THM when we take a shower as it can be released when the hot water turns to steam. Scientific American writes that “A recent study conducted in Hartford, Connecticut found that women with breast cancer have 50-60 percent higher levels of organochlorines (chlorine by-products) in their breast tissue than cancer-free women.”

Solutions to Chlorine in Water

Knowing now about the dangers of chlorinated water, the next obvious question is, how do we remove it from our drinking & shower water? Drinking bottled water won’t help as most bottled water companies use sources that come from public treated water, and have the same amount of chlorine in it as drinking from the tap.

In the end, carbon block filters such as WaterChef’s are the most effective way to safely remove chlorine and chlorine by-products from your drinking and shower water. WaterChef filters remove 99% of contaminants including chlorine.  For healthy, safe, and great tasting home water, check out www.waterlinks.com.hk

Sources: Scientific American, Pure Earth

4 Tips to Clean your Germ-filled Reusable Bottles

We at WaterChef Hong Kong are huge proponents of using reusable water bottles, especially ones made of glass or stainless steel. Why? Reusable bottles are the best way to get clean, great-tasting WaterChef filtered water into your body. They are also way more cost effective than buying bottle after bottle from stores. And of course reusable bottles are infinitely better for the environment than going through tons of plastic disposable bottles.

But as with anything that is filled with sitting water and comes in contact with germs in our mouth, water bottles can get a bit gross. We recently found these four tips to make sure that your reusable bottles get a proper cleaning.

1) Make sure your bottle dries

One of the most important things to get germs out of your bottle is to make sure that it has time to properly dry. Any dampness will allow bacteria to grow and spread, so air your bottle out with the lid off! Put it upside down in a drying rack where it can get plenty of air is a great way to do this. Allow at least 24 hours of dryness before filling your bottle again.

2) Fill it with vinegar-water

Vinegar is a great natural antibacterial cleaner. Fill your bottle with ¼ vinegar and ¾ water. Shake it up and then let the bottle sit with this solution overnight. Then clean it out as you would with a bottle brush. Let it dry and it’s good to go!

3) Fill it with boiling water

If your bottle can handle hot water and keep its temperature for prolonged periods of time, boiling water is another way to clean it. Fill your bottle with hot boiling water, close it, shake it a little (don’t burn yourself) and let it sit overnight. In the morning, carefully open it and pour the water out. Wash with soapy water and a bottle brush and let dry.

4) Use a gentle, natural cleaner

Using a gentle, naturally anti-microbial dishwashing soap like Soapnut Republic’s Grapefruit essential oil infused Dish Soap is also a great and safe way to clean your water bottles. Simply squeeze a bit of the dish soap into the bottle, fill it with water, shake it, and then give the insides a good scrub with your bottle brush. Rinse it out and let it air dry.

So there you have it! Four great ways to make sure the pure, filtered water you put into your resuable water bottle stays clean and safe.

Drinking Water during Pregnancy

In the same way you need to eat more while pregnant, you also need more water. The Institute of Medicine recommends about 10 8-oz glasses of water (or the equivalent) a day, and more in a hot place like Hong Kong.

There are many reasons why it’s important to get enough water while you’re pregnant. Here are just a few:

  • Water is how nutrients are passed to your baby
  • Prevents urinary tract infections, constipation and hemorrhoids, which are all more common among pregnant women
  • Dehydration in the last trimester can lead to pre-term labor
  • Staying hydrated can prevent swelling and preeclampsia

It’s not always easy to get water in your system during pregnancy. Between morning sickness, the constant need to use the toilet, and feelings of bloating, drinking more water may be the last thing on your mind. Try infusing lemon or lime in your water to help with nausea and make drinking water more appetizing.

While you increase your water intake for both you and your baby, remember the importance of drinking and using healthy, filtered water.

Dr. Mira Aubuchon, MD, an assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine commented in a Babble article: “Yes, there are chlorinated by-products in tap water that in some small studies have had some negative effects [on the health of the baby]…” These potentially harmful by-products are not absorbed simply from drinking water, but can be inhaled, such as when you’re in the shower, or through skin contact, like when you wash your hands.

Our water filters use a special carbon block technology that filters out more contaminants than any other filtration technology. Find out more!

VOCs – Hazardous Compounds in Your Air & Water

There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of VOCs. And yet, they’re found in the air you breathe and the water you drink.

What are VOCs?

VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, are chemicals that occur as vapors at ordinary air temperatures. That means they are floating in the air you breathe as you read this article. Though they are mostly found in air, the chemicals that VOCs are associated with can soak into the ground and thus find its way into the city water supply.

Where do VOCs come from?

Some VOCs come from natural sources like plants. However, other non-natural products like paints, ink, cleaning & disinfencting supplies, pesticides, cosmetics, petrol, and more, can release VOCs.

What are the effects of breathing air or drinking water contaminated with VOCs?

The Environmental Protection Agency believes that VOCs can cause various negative health effects such as eye, nose and respiratory irritation, headaches, nausea and potentially damage to organs like your kidneys, liver and central nervous system. It is also a possible cause of cancer.

What can I do to reduce VOCs?

In a city like Hong Kong where there tend to be high levels of air pollution, it is especially important to protect your home from hazardous VOCs. The best way to reduce these contaminants is to use air and water filters.

We carry a wide range of products that reduce contaminants in the air. Find out more on our website.


Volatile Organic Compounds. American Water Works Association: http://www.drinktap.org/home/water-information/water-quality/ucmr3/volatile-organic-compounds.aspx

An Introduction to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). EPA: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/voc.html

Indoor Environmental Quality, Chemicals and Odors. CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/indoorenv/ChemicalsOdors.html

Why Filter Your Shower?

Many people understand the benefits of drinking filtered water, but why filter the water we shower in? Just as there are many reasons to filter the water you drink, there are equally important reasons to purify the water you wash in.

To understand this, we must first realize that the health of our skin is an important part of our whole body health. In fact, the skin is the largest organ of our body! It does amazing things like creating and synthesizing Vitamin D, and has its own unique microbiome made of good healthy bacteria. The skin also has the ability to absorb things it comes in contact with, which is why it’s important to make sure the things it touches is healthy.

In the same way that we wouldn’t touch harsh cleaning chemicals like bleach so that it doesn’t get absorbed by our skin (we’d recommend using natural Soapnut Republic cleaners instead!), we want to make sure the water we wash in is filtered of contaminants like chlorine.

Studies have shown that showering in chlorinated water can actually cause our body to absorb more chlorine than drinking that same water. This is because when we shower in warm water, our skin absorbs a greater amount of what it’s coming in contact with.

Additionally, the steam from the shower causes us to inhale the chemicals in the water including chlorine, chloramine (a mixture of chlorine & ammonia) and trihalomethanes (such as chloroform).

Lastly all these harsh chemicals in shower water can harm the microbiome that lives on our skin. Without these protective bacteria, our skin can suffer from irritation, and potentially even cause chronic dry skin or eczema.

So how can you protect your skin and body? Get an easy to install shower filter system and replace the filter every six months. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Source: https://wellnessmama.com/119128/shower-filter/