Sign In

Press Release Detail



Three Companies Fined in Court for Illegal Discharge into Public Sewers363 Companies Fined in Court for Illegal Discharge into Public Sewers16/4/2023 4:00:00 PMIssue DateOverview<div> <span style="line-height:30px;font-size:18px;"> <b>​​​​​​​​​​​Singapore, 17 April 2023</b> – Two toxic industrial waste collectors, Chem-Solv Technologies Pte Ltd and NSL OilChem Logistics Pte Ltd, as well as a membrane manufacturing firm Century Water Systems & Technologies Pte Ltd, have been convicted and fined in court for discharging toxic and hazardous substances into the public sewers. This is an offence that risks causing harm to the workers maintaining the public sewerage system, damaging the country’s used water treatment facilities, and polluting our environment.</span><br><br>​<br></div><div style="width:4%;float:left;"> <span style="line-height:30px;font-size:18px;">2​.</span> </div><div style="width:96%;float:left;"> <span style="line-height:30px;font-size:18px;">​​<span style="line-height:107%;font-family:arial, sans-serif;font-size:12pt;">The three companies were prosecuted under the Sewerage and Drainage Act and Sewerage and Drainage (Trade Effluent) Regulations. Chem-Solv Technologies and NSL OilChem Logistics were both charged and prosecuted in court in November 2022. The former was fined $8,500 and was ordered to install additional monitoring sensors on their premises, while the latter was fined $13,000. Century Water Systems & Technologies </span><span lang="EN-GB" style="line-height:107%;font-family:arial, sans-serif;font-size:12pt;">was charged in February 2023, and was fined $3,300.<br><br>​<b>Detecting illegal discharge in public sewers​</b><br>​</span>​​​​</span>​<br></div><div style="width:4%;float:left;"> <span style="line-height:30px;font-size:18px;">3.</span> </div><div style="width:96%;float:left;"> <span style="line-height:30px;font-size:18px;">Between May 2021 and September 2021, PUB’s online sensors detected abnormally high levels of prohibited volatile organic compounds in the used water discharged from factories in the Pioneer Sector area. On 6 September 2021, PUB officers carried out a surprise inspection at Chem-Solv Technologies’ premises and found that greenish effluent was being discharged into the public sewers. Tests confirmed that the discharged effluent contained eight different types of prohibited organic compounds. The concentration level of one of these organic compounds, Toluene<sup>1​</sup> , was dangerously high and could have posed a fire or explosion hazard in the public sewerage system.​</span><br>​<br>​<br></div>​ <div style="width:4%;float:left;"> <span style="line-height:30px;font-size:18px;">4​​.</span> </div><div style="width:96%;float:left;"> <span style="line-height:30px;font-size:18px;">Between December 2021 and January 2022, PUB’s regular sampling regime detected abnormally high levels of regulated substances such as heavy metals and Boron on several occasions in the public sewers located in the Tuas area. PUB traced these readings to NSL OilChem Logistics’ premises. On 25 January 2022 and 1 February 2022, PUB collected samples of the company’s trade effluent. Tests confirmed the presence of three heavy metals and Boron beyond permissible levels.</span><br>​<br>​<br></div><div style="width:4%;float:left;"> <span style="line-height:30px;font-size:18px;">5​.</span> </div><div style="width:96%;float:left;"> <span style="line-height:30px;font-size:18px;">A routine inspection at Century Water Systems & Technologies’ premises on 20 May 2022 found that the company was discharging non-compliant trade effluent containing high concentrations of Dimethylacetamide, instead of engaging a licensed toxic industrial waste collector for proper disposal. Dimethylacetamide is a semi-volatile organic compound commonly used in industrial solvents. Excessively high concentrations of the compound have been known to cause disruptions to the NEWater production process.​​</span><br>​<br>​<br></div><div style="width:4%;float:left;"> <span style="line-height:30px;font-size:18px;">6​.</span> </div><div style="width:96%;float:left;"> <span style="line-height:30px;font-size:18px;">PUB monitors more than 5,000 companies annually for trade effluent discharge containing regulated substances into the public sewers. There is a comprehensive programme in place to detect discharges of non-compliant trade effluent, which consists of real-time online sensors in the public sewerage system, routine inspection of premises, as well as a regular sampling analysis regime to monitor the quality of used water within the public sewers.</span><br>​<br>​<br></div><div style="width:4%;float:left;"> <span style="line-height:30px;font-size:18px;">7​.</span> </div><div style="width:96%;float:left;"> <span style="line-height:30px;font-size:18px;">“Used water is a precious resource that is treated and recycled to produce NEWater, and our public sewerage system plays a key role in the reclamation process. Companies must correctly dispose of their trade effluent. The illegal discharge of non-compliant trade effluent into our public sewers can cause environmental pollution, disrupt the operations at our used water treatment plans, and endanger the health and safety of workers. To ensure that our operations, workers and the environment are fully protected, we will not hesitate to take enforcement action against any companies caught breaking the law,” said Mr Maurice Neo, Director of PUB’s Water Reclamation (Network) Department.</span><br>​<br>​<br></div><div style="width:4%;float:left;"> <span style="line-height:30px;font-size:18px;">8​.</span> </div><div style="width:96%;float:left;"> <span style="line-height:30px;font-size:18px;">Under the Sewerage and Drainage (Trade Effluent) Regulations, the penalty for discharging hazardous substances is a fine of up to $15,000 or imprisonment for up to three months, or both. Under the Sewerage and Drainage Act, the penalty for the illegal disposal of hazardous substances that may pose danger to the safety and health of people or any part of any public sewerage system, is a fine of up to $50,000 or imprisonment for up to 12 months upon first conviction, and up to $100,000 and/or imprisonment up to 12 months for repeat offenders. As part of an enhanced enforcement regime, PUB may also revoke approval for trade effluent discharge, or issue stop-order notices to prevent errant companies from discharging non-compliant trade effluent into the public sewers. Such orders will only be lifted when the companies implement appropriate remedial measures to ensure that the quality of their trade effluent complies with the law.</span><br>​<br>​<br></div><div style="width:4%;float:left;"> <span style="line-height:30px;font-size:18px;">9​.</span> </div><div style="width:96%;float:left;"> <span style="line-height:30px;font-size:18px;">With its enhanced surveillance and enforcement regime, PUB has seen a decrease in the number of illegal trade effluent discharge offences in the past decade. Going forward, enforcement levers will continue to be strengthened where needed to deter such offences.</span><br>​<br>​<br></div><div style="width:4%;float:left;"> <span style="line-height:30px;font-size:18px;">10.</span> </div><div style="width:96%;float:left;"> <span style="line-height:30px;font-size:18px;">Members of the public are encouraged to protect our water resources and report any suspected incidences of water pollution or illegal discharge of non-compliant trade effluent to PUB’s 24-hour call centre at 1800-CALL-PUB (1800-2255-782).​​</span><br>​<br>​<br></div><hr /><div style="width:3%;float:left;"> <span style="line-height:15px;font-size:13px;">  <sup>1</sup></span> </div><div style="width:97%;float:left;"> <span style="line-height:15px;font-size:13px;">Toluene is an organic compound and widely used as an industrial feedstock and as a solvent.​<br><br>​</span></div>​ <div align="center">****​​<br><br>​<br></div><div style="line-height:30px;font-size:18px;"> <b>About PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency</b><br><br>​PUB is a statutory board under the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE). It is the national water agency, which manages Singapore’s water supply, water catchment, and used water in an integrated way. From April 2020, PUB also took on the responsibility of protecting Singapore’s coastline from sea-level rise as the national coastal protection agency.<br><br>PUB has ensured a diversified and sustainable supply of water for Singapore with the Four National Taps (local catchment water, imported water, NEWater, desalinated water). PUB leads and coordinates whole-of-government efforts to protect Singapore from the threat of rising seas and the holistic management of inland and coastal flood risks.<br><br>PUB calls on everyone to play a part in conserving water, in keeping our waterways clean, and in caring for Singapore’s precious water resources. If we all do our little bit, there will be enough water for all our needs – for commerce and industry, for living, for life.<br><br></div><div style="line-height:30px;font-size:18px;"> <b>Find out more about us</b><br> Like us at <a href="/_layouts/15/Catalog.aspx?Url=https%3A%2F%2Fpubweb%2Dpvt%2Epub%2Egov%2Esg%2FPages%2Fwww%2Efacebook%2Ecom%2FPUBsg"></a><br>Follow us on <a href="/_layouts/15/Catalog.aspx?Url=https%3A%2F%2Fpubweb%2Dpvt%2Epub%2Egov%2Esg%2FPages%2Fwww%2Einstagram%2Ecom%2FPUBsingapore"></a>, ​<a href="/_layouts/15/Catalog.aspx?Url=https%3A%2F%2Fpubweb%2Dpvt%2Epub%2Egov%2Esg%2FPages%2Fwww%2Etwitter%2Ecom%2FPUBsingapore"></a> and <a href="">​</a><br>Subscribe to our channel at <a href="/_layouts/15/Catalog.aspx?Url=https%3A%2F%2Fpubweb%2Dpvt%2Epub%2Egov%2Esg%2FPages%2Fwww%2Eyoutube%2Ecom%2FsgPUB"></a><br>Visit our website at <a href="/_layouts/15/Catalog.aspx?Url=https%3A%2F%2Fpubweb%2Dpvt%2Epub%2Egov%2Esg%2FPages%2Fwww%2Epub%2Egov%2Esg"></a><br><br>​<br></div>​<br><br>

We are thrilled to announce that our brand new website is just around the corner! Click here to view >