Private building sewage systems under scrutiny

Local | 21 May 2020 4:16 pm

The Ombudsman is starting an investigation into the misconnection of sewage pipes at private buildings to the stormwater drainage system, which results in a huge volume of waste flowing into the sea, RTHK reports.

The problem is one of the major causes of coastal water pollution and also leads to bad smells at various waterfronts.

Ombudsman Winnie Chu said on Tuesday that the watchdog’s preliminary inquiry has revealed that a number of misconnection problems have dragged on for years.

“Proper maintenance of private buildings, including ensuring correct connections of pipes, is a duty incumbent upon property owners. However, the sewage pipes of some private premises and communal sewers of some private buildings have been misconnected to the stormwater drainage system for various reasons, leading to the discharge of untreated sewage into the sea,” she said.

"As long as the misconnected sewers remain unrectified, a huge volume of effluent will continue to flow into the sea and cause pollution day after day. Such a situation is highly unsatisfactory,” she said.

The Ombudsman will examine whether the Environmental Protection Department, Buildings Department and Drainage Services Department, which are responsible for handling the problem, have all done their jobs properly.

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