12 December 2016【The Standard】Fire school suspected of stream foam
White foam and bubbles have been found trapped in a stream in Tseung Kwan O over the past few days, with a firefighter training school suspected to be the source of pollutant.
Residents of the area complained to the District Council that they saw from their windows a large amount of white foam accumulated over the rain drain at the upper end of the Siu Chik Sha stream, said Sai Kung District Councilor Christine Fong Kwok-shan.
She suspected that the pollutants came from the Fire and Ambulance Services Academy nearby as it is the only building near the stream.
Fong received complaints from some residents of the private housing Beaumount last Thursday. She was told that the foam was first seen dozens of square meters wide and about half a meter high, but it had dispersed slightly by the past weekend.
It was the first time this had been seen in the area, she said. Unlike the loose bubbles from regular cleaning agents, the thick foam could be held in the hand.
Fong said the stream is connected to a rain drain round Shek Kok Road which leads to an industrial estate and then to the sea.
“It is inevitable the sea will be polluted," she said, adding that the Environmental Protection Department staff did not rule out that the pollution is related to the fire rescue drills." The Drainage Services Department inspected the site last Friday and confirmed the discovery of foam stacked at the stream.
Fong said the department promised to visit again today to clean the stream.
Water samples were taken from the stream on Saturday for examination, said a spokesman for the Environmental Protection Department, who did not say when the results would be available.
The Fire Services Department also inspected the site to see if the pollution is linked to the daily operation of the academy and has contacted the construction contractor of the building.
“Foam is used occasionally in drills, especially for rescues related to fire caused by fuel," a spokesman for the department said. “Training facilities for this use are all linked to a system, which collects the foam used and emits the solution after processing."
The different departments will cooperate to follow up on the incident.