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Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources in the last five years,
how many companies have been prosecuted for illegal discharge of wastewater
into our public sewage system and how many of these have been second-time
offenders and multiple repeat offenders.
Reply by Dr Amy Khor:
1. Under the Sewerage
and Drainage Act, companies have to obtain Written Approvals from PUB before they
can discharge industrial used water or trade effluent into the sewers. Any discharge
has to comply with stipulated quality requirements.
2. PUB has a comprehensive programme in
place to tackle discharge which do not comply with quality requirements. This
consists of online sensors in the public sewerage system for effective
monitoring and early detection, periodic inspections of premises as well as
engagement of companies to comply with the quality requirements. These efforts
complement the penalty framework that PUB has in place.
3. While most companies abide by the quality
requirements, PUB has prosecuted 119 companies since 2014 for illegal
discharge of trade effluent into the sewers, where the discharge did not
comply with stipulations. Of these, 21 companies are second-time offenders, and another
23 companies committed the offences more than two times.
offenders will face harsher penalties and be subjected to more
frequent inspections by PUB. PUB may also suspend or revoke the Written
Approval granted to the company for the discharge of trade effluent into the
sewers. For severe cases where the discharge contains toxic, dangerous or
hazardous substances, PUB will issue an immediate stop-order notice to prevent
the company from further discharging trade effluent into the public sewers. The
order will be lifted only when the company has implemented remedial
5. We take a serious view of illegal discharge of
trade effluent into our sewers. We will not hesitate to take enforcement action
against companies that threaten the quality of our water supply.
Last updated: 06 Aug 2019
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