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.The Water Supplies Department (WSD) launched the Fresh Water Plumbing Quality Maintenance Recognition Scheme in July 2002 in a bid to boost the confidence of both local residents and overseas visitors towards the tap water quality, heighten public awareness of water quality maintenance, and enforce counter-disease preventive measures (such as regular cleaning of water tanks of the buildings to prevent it from becoming a breeding ground for bacteria). As of September 15 2006, more than 1,587 certificates of the scheme were issued, which covered residential and commercial buildings, hospitals, hotels, schools, universities and public utilities.  The certificate will be awarded to the applicants of the Scheme who fulfill a list of assessment criteria which include the solid test results to the water samples fully compliant with the acceptable limits regulated by WSD.

The local reported case of Legionella in February was claimed to be attributable to the home usage of Legionella pneumonphila-infected oxygen concentrator and water purifier.  The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of Health Department cautioned that the disease was traceable to the hygienic conditions of water tanks of buildings, water sinks, home-use water purifiers and inhalators, which were most susceptible to the breeding of Legionella pneumonphila.

Legionellosis is caused by the above bacteria. Over 40 species of Legionella have already been identified, approximately 90% of the cases are associated with Legionella pneumophila and most of these infections are caused by a specific type known as serogroup 1.

Legionellae are found in the natural environment and commonly proliferate in man-made water systems such as cold and hot water tanks, cooling towers, whirlpool and spas, water fountains, and respiratory therapy equipment. Legionnaires' disease is acquired by inhalation of contaminated airborne droplets (aerosols) and mist arising from these artificial water systems.
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