Printing company fined $12,000 for discharging toxic industrial used water into public sewers

SINGAPORE - Printing company Tat Seng Packaging Group was fined $12,000 earlier this year for illegally discharging toxic industrial used water into the public sewerage system.

National water agency PUB said in a statement on Monday (March 19) that it had detected an abnormality in the quality of incoming used water at the Kranji Water Reclamation Plant on Sep 25, 2016.

Investigations revealed that Tat Seng had discharged black and turbid industrial used water into the public sewer, the statement said.

Water quality tests showed that the discharge contained quantities of copper, a regulated metal, that exceeded the allowable limit by up to three times.

The company pleaded guilty to three counts of the Sewerage and Drainange (Trade Effluent) Regulations and was fined on Jan 2 this year. Another charge was taken into consideration during sentencing.

The company had previously been punished for the same offence carried out on four occasions between 2012 and 2015 , the statement said.

Besides Tat Seng, another 17 companies were brought to task between November 2017 and last month, and fined a total of $100,500 for illegal discharge offences.

Electroplating company Finest Gold & Silver Refinery was fined $13,500, while toxic waste industrial waste collection company Eco Special Waste Management was fined $10,000.

PUB's director of Water Reclamation Network Maurice Neo said that the agency takes a serious view of the illegal discharge of hazardous substances into the public sewerage system.

Mr Neo explained that public sewers bring used water to the water reclamation plants for treatment so that it is safe to be released into the environment, or further purified into NEWater.

"Hazardous substances in the sewage endanger the lives of our staff, upset our treatment processes and negatively impact the quality of feedstock for NEWater production," he said.