38 companies including renowned bakery and food manufacturing firm BreadTalk were slapped with hefty fines for disposing regulated chemicals over allowable limits into public sewers over the period of Jun last year and May this year.
Public Utilities Board (PUB) said yesterday (10 Jun) that BreadTalk was fined S$16,300 under the Sewerage and Drainage (Trade Effluent) Regulations (SD(TE)R) after it was found that the firm’s trade effluent contained grease and oil after testing samples from Breadtalk’s Waste Water Pretreatment Plant.
BreadTalk, added PUB, is a repeat offender, having raked up six charges amounting to S$19,000 previously.
Printing and packaging company Tat Seng Packaging Group Ltd, similarly a repeat offender, was also among the 38 companies prosecuted for “discharging trade effluent containing a regulated chemical and metal exceeding allowable concentration limits on three occasions in June 2016, December 2017 and March 2018”.
Tat Seng was fined a total of S$14,100, according to PUB.
Licensed toxic waste collector NSL Oilchem Logistics Pte Ltd was fined S$12,200 after disposing waste containing sulphate and zinc . that exceeded the legal limits between Jan 2017 and May 2017.
“In particular, the zinc concentration grossly exceeded the allowable limit by about 68 times,” said PUB.
PUB’s Director of Water Reclamation Network Maurice Neo said: “Discharging dangerous or hazardous substances, or excessive amounts of regulated substances are irresponsible acts that can affect the operational integrity of the public sewerage system, disrupt the used water treatment process at the water reclamation plants, and pose health and safety hazards to the workers maintaining the system.
“PUB will not hesitate to prosecute companies which disregard our trade effluent regulations and impose harsher penalties on recalcitrant offenders.
“These repeat offenders have been placed under PUB’s surveillance watch, where we are monitoring their trade effluent discharge closely and will step up the frequency of inspections at their premises.
“In severe cases, PUB may also suspend or revoke the approval for the company to discharge trade effluent in the sewer,” added Mr Neo.
Under the Sewerage and Drainage Act, the illegal discharge of trade effluent containing dangerous or hazardous substances into the public sewer carries a fine of up to $50,000 for the first offence and a maximum fine of $100,000 for repeat offenders.