It may look pretty, but images showing the Lam Tsuen River in Eastern New Territories turning a milky shade of sky blue are causing concern among Tai Po residents and environmentalists.
Some people posted photos of the river sporting an uncharacteristically pale blue hue on social media on Monday.
“There is white water flowing in Lam Tsuen River and rubbish filling the flower trough on the bridge. This shows what Hongkongers are like in terms of environmental awareness and public morality,” said one Facebook user.
Environmentalists urged businesses and residents to not pour sewage into roadside canals as it would pollute the beautiful river and disrupt its ecology.
Tai Po district councilor Lau Yung-wai said he believes the river’s sky blue shade was caused by the improper disposal of paints.
“A resident just informed me that there are currently painting works for the exterior walls of the Tai Po Swimming Pool and the paint used is also blue,” said Lau.
He added he has notified the Environmental Protection Department and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department to look into the matter.
Lau also said some other residents have forwarded him photos, taken at the intersection between Tai Po Garden and Mui Shue Hang Park, showing blue liquid coming out of a storm drain.
He added that the Environmental Protection Department and the Drainage Services Department have been notified regarding the matter and were investigating.
Lau urged people to report to authorities if they find anyone dumping paint into storm drains as the pigments will flow directly into rivers and cause pollution.
The Lam Tsuen River was ranked the 70th most polluted waterway in the world in terms of concentration of medications, according to a study, released earlier this year, of 258 waterways in 104 countries led by researchers from the University of York.