Toxic waste company Cramoil to be charged for discharging hazardous substances into public sewers

Toxic waste company Cramoil to be charged for discharging hazardous substances into public sewers

cramoil singapore
Cramoil Singapore's stop-order took effect on Monday (Apr 23). (Screengrab: Google Street View)

SINGAPORE: Toxic industrial waste collection company Cramoil Singapore will be charged for discharging wastewater with hazardous substances into public sewers, said national water agency PUB in a media release on Wednesday (Apr 25). 

It has also been issued a stop-order, meaning the company can no longer discharge used industrial water from its premises into the public sewage system. 

This is the first time that PUB has issued such an order. It was served to Cramoil Singapore managing director Tan Kim Seng on Monday and took effect immediately.

PUB said the company was on Apr 15 caught in the act of discharging industrial used water containing hazardous Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), like benzene and heptane, into the public sewer at its premises at 4 Tuas View Lane.

Tests found that the industrial used water discharged contained 16 different types of prohibited VOCs, said PUB.

"The concentration levels were dangerously high. At these levels, the VOCs can cause fires in the sewer pipeline and downstream Jurong Water Reclamation Plant," it added.

In addition, five kinds of metals and chemicals in concentrations that exceeded the permitted limits were found, said PUB, adding that the toxic substances pose a threat to workers maintaining the public sewerage system. It can also "upset the used water treatment process," the agency added.

In its overnight checks, PUB also found that Cramoil's used water sampler to monitor industrial used water waste had been tampered with.

This is not the first time that the company has landed in hot water. Since 2010, the company had committed 20 offences of discharging toxic wastewater into the public sewer. The company has been fined a total of S$52,500.

If found guilty of the latest offence, Cramoil Singapore could be fined up to S$100,000.

"PUB does not condone any blatant disregard of our regulations on illegal discharge of trade effluent, and anyone who willfully causes harm and danger to our public sewerage system," said PUB's director of water reclamation network Maurice Neo.

The stop-order will be in place until PUB is satisfied with the measures the company must put in place within a month of the order.

These measures include having adequate treatment facilities, a quality monitoring system, as well as CCTVs to monitor treatment facilities and the colour of its trade effluent discharge.

Source: CNA/aa/(gs)