Construction contractor convicted for illegal wastewater discharge on the Peak

     The contractor of a construction site on the Peak on Hong Kong Island, who illegally discharged high-concentration wastewater into the communal drainage system, was fined $10,000 by Eastern Magistrates' Courts today (April 3) for contravening the Water Pollution Control Ordinance (WPCO).

     During an inspection at a construction site on Barker Road on the Peak in September 2016, staff of the EPD found that muddy water was discharged from the construction site to a public sewer. The staff immediately took wastewater samples for analysis. The results showed that the concentration of suspended solids and chemical oxygen demand were 370 000 milligrams per litre and 870mg per litre respectively and exceeded the permitted level by 12 000 times and 10 times, indicating that the discharged wastewater had not been properly treated and would cause pollution to the environment. The EPD subsequently initiated prosecution against the contractor of the construction site.

     The EPD's spokesman said that if construction sites discharge wastewater without proper treatment, it will cause sewer blockage and environmental pollution. All construction contractors must provide suitable wastewater treatment facilities and maintain their effective operation to ensure that the discharge can meet the requirements specified in the WPCO to protect the environment.

     Under the WPCO, it is an offence for anyone to discharge wastewater into the communal drainage system. First-time offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and six months' imprisonment. A maximum fine of $400,000 and six months' imprisonment may be imposed on second or subsequent convictions. In addition, a daily fine of $10,000 may be imposed for a continuing offence.

Ends/Monday, April 3, 2017
Issued at HKT 15:30