Sewage Treatment & Charges

Sewage is something that every human settlement must deal with: we treat it lightly at our peril, we put ourselves at risk of water-borne diseases outbreak. The responsible handling of sewage is a big factor in maintaining safe and healthy communities, and everybody has a role to play.

Sewage Treatment in Hong Kong

Making sure that sewage is dealt with effectively and in a cost-efficient way is a huge challenge. Around 93% of the populace is served by the public sewerage system, with its sewerage network of about 1,700 kilometres and around 300 sewage pumping stations and sewage treatment plants collecting and treating 2.8 million cubic metres sewage per day.

Sewage Treatment Facilities in Hong Kong

Sewerage Master Plans

The Environmental Protection Department has devised 16 Sewerage Master Plans to serve the sewerage needs of each catchment area in Hong Kong. These plans provide blueprints of the infrastructure required to collect sewage and direct it to treatment facilities before disposal into the sea. The recommendations of the plans are being implemented progressively to cater for the present and future development needs of Hong Kong. The plans are subject to regular review concerning revised population forecasts and the expected level of development.

Harbour Area Treatment Scheme

The Government has also upgraded the harbour area sewage treatment at a strategic level through the implementation of the Harbour Area Treatment Scheme (HATS). Stage 1 of HATS, which was brought into full operation in late 2001, included the construction of a chemically enhanced primary sewage treatment works on Stonecutters Island. The treated sewage is discharged through an outfall into the western part of the harbour. The areas served by Stage 1 include the whole of the Kowloon Peninsula, Tseung Kwan O, Kwai Chung, Tsing Yi, Tsuen Wan, Shau Kei Wan and Chai Wan. The works of Stage 2A commenced in July 2009 and the relevant facilities were commissioned in late 2015, redirecting the remaining 25% of sewage from the northern and southwestern parts of Hong Kong Island, which previously received only preliminary treatment, to the newly expanded Stonecutters Island Sewage Treatment Works for chemically enhanced primary treatment, substantially improving the overall water quality of Victoria Harbour.

More on the Harbour Area Treatment Scheme

Sewage Services Charging Scheme

The Sewage Services Charging Scheme (the charging scheme) was introduced to recover the operating costs of sewage services. It also implements the polluter-pays principle to facilitate long-term sustainability of our environment. 

There are two types of charges under the charging scheme -

  • Sewage Charge (SC) aims to recover the cost of collecting and treating wastewater at or below domestic strength; and
  • Trade Effluent Surcharge (TES) aims to recover the additional cost of treating effluents of strength stronger than domestic sewage.
More on polluter-pays principle

Sewage Charge

SC is levied on all water users whose premises are connected to public sewers. The amount is calculated according to a prescribed unit rate and the volume of water supplied to the premises (other than that supplied specifically for flushing purposes). Domestic consumers receive an exemption of the first 12 cubic metres of water supplied for every four-month period.

In order to recover the anticipated substantial increase in operating costs when HATS Stage 2A and other additional treatment facilities come into place, the SC is being increased gradually by 9.3% on average annually over a ten-year timeframe beginning from 1 April 2008.  The SC rate for the period of 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016 is $2.44 per cubic metre of water supplied.

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Trade Effluent Surcharge

TES is the additional charge on top of SC, applying to 27 trades, for the cost incurred in treating effluents of strength typically stronger than domestic sewage. Members of the same trades are subject to trade-specific TES rates, which are based on the respective generic Chemical Oxygen Demand values for each trade. Individual members of a trade are entitled to a lower TES rate if they can, through a reassessment process, demonstrate that the strength of the effluent they discharge is weaker than that prescribed.

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Payment Methods

The Water Authority has included SC and TES in the demand notes for water charges. The combined demand notes can be settled through -

  • Autopay
  • PPS
  • Automatic teller machine
  • The Internet
  • In person
  • The post

A surcharge that equals to 5% of the amount overdue may be imposed on accounts that are not paid on time.

More on payment methods

Enquiries

Enquires on matters relating to the Sewage Services Charging Scheme can be made to the Drainage Authority at :

Ground Floor,
Western Magistracy,
2A Pok Fu Lam Road,
Hong Kong
Telephone: 2834 9432
Fax: 2574 5645

Enquires may also be made by downloading a standard request form and returning it to the Drainage Authority. Enquiries not relating to sewage services charges on the demand notes should be made to the Water Authority at 2824 5000.

Standard request form for matters relating to SC and TES
Last revision date: March 2016