Pig farm at Tai Kong Po Tsuen in Yuen Long convicted for illegal discharge of livestock waste into Kam Tin River (with photo)

     A pig farm at Tai Kong Po Tsuen in Kam Tin, Yuen Long, discharged untreated livestock waste into a nearby watercourse. The person-in-charge of the pig farm was fined $8,000 by Fanling Magistrates' Courts today (October 2) for contravening the Waste Disposal (Livestock Waste) Regulations. The owner of the farm had been convicted four times in the past for discharging livestock waste into a nearby watercourse.
     The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) received several complaints from members of the public in March about suspected illegal discharge from a pig farm in Tai Kong Po Tsuen. EPD staff conducted an inspection and found that a large amount of greyish-black wastewater with the odour of pig waste was being discharged from the drainage outlet of a pig farm in Tai Kong Po Tsuen to a watercourse outside the pig farm. The untreated livestock waste seriously polluted the Kam Tin River downstream. The analysis result of the wastewater samples taken by the EPD showed that the concentration of test parameters exceeded the discharge standard. In the sample taken at the above drainage pipe, the Five-Day Biochemical Oxygen Demand and Suspended Solids exceeded the standards by 26 and 14 times respectively. After gathering sufficient evidence, the EPD subsequently initiated prosecution against the person-in-charge of the pig farm in accordance with the Regulations and notified the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department of the case concerned.
     An EPD spokesman said that untreated livestock waste contains high concentrations of excreta and will lead to serious pollution and odour problems if discharged into rivers. According to the Regulations, liquid livestock waste generated by livestock farms must be treated properly in a wastewater treatment facility to meet the statutory requirements before being discharged. Offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and a daily fine of $5,000 for a continuing offence.
     The spokesman reminded owners and staff members of livestock farms in the New Territories to properly operate treatment facilities for wastewater generated from livestock waste and not to discharge untreated livestock waste into nearby watercourses. The department will continue to conduct surprise inspections to combat any irregularities at livestock farms.
     More information about the livestock waste control scheme is available on the EPD's website: www.epd.gov.hk/epd/english/laws_regulations/enforcement/lwis.html.

Ends/Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Issued at HKT 16:00