$120m saltwater system eyed for Disney toilets

The government is seeking approval to spend HK$119.5 million to construct a saltwater supply system in Penny's Bay so Hong Kong Disneyland can flush toilets without wasting fresh water.

The planned construction, put off once before and part of the original agreement to construct the theme park, is set to be completed by 2009, if the public works subcommittee approves the measure at a meeting on June 21. According to information from the Economic Labor and Development Bureau to the economic services panel Monday, the original plan was to build a saltwater supply station "on a site to be reclaimed under the Tai Ho development" by this year.

Since no construction has gone forward, Disneyland has been using fresh water to flush its toilets.

The proposed new saltwater service reservoir and the proposed saltwater pumping station will join an existing saltwater main that runs along the North Lantau Highway in Ta Pang Po.

The reservoir will be constructed about 450 meters south of the highway, next to the current Sunny Bay fresh- water reservoir in Yam O Tuk. The reservoir's capacity will be 2,500 cubic meters of water.

A Disney spokeswoman said the company did not keep records of how much flushing water it used per day and it could not forecast how much it would have used by the park's first year anniversary in September. She said the company does not have a preference for saltwater or fresh water to flush toilets but would take whatever is allocated by the government.

Bureau officials believe the construction contract will last longer than 21 months, with the bulk of the costs going on building the pumping station for HK$41.6 million at September 2005 prices. The reservoir would have cost HK$35 million last year.

The pipework, fittings, mechanical and electrical wirings and environmental protection measures stood at HK$27 million, with HK$10 million going toward "contingencies."

In a re-evaluation at 2006 prices, the bill stands at nearly $120 million, with an annual maintenance and operation cost of HK$2.6 million, officials said.

Hong Kong imports much of its fresh water in a bulk contract with the mainland.


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