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Whye Kee Foodstuff fined S$17,700 for repeatedly illegally discharging waste into public sewers

Whye Kee Foodstuff fined S$17,700 for repeatedly illegally discharging waste into public sewers

View of Whye Kee Foodstuff in Tai Seng. (Image: Google Street View)

SINGAPORE: Local food manufacturer Whye Kee Foodstuff has been fined S$17,700 for repeatedly illegally discharging waste at levels exceeding allowable limits into the public sewers, PUB said on Thursday (Oct 8).

The company was previously convicted for committing similar offences in May 2019 and fined S$14,400.

The latest convictions are for four charges of discharging effluent containing chemical substances exceeding allowable limits last year on Oct 11. Another six charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

PUB uncovered the offences during site inspections at the company’s premise at Tai Seng Avenue between September and October 2019.

During one of the inspections, PUB said the trade effluent sample was found to be more than 120 times the allowed limits for biochemical oxygen demand, total suspended solids and chemical oxygen demand.

The company also exceeded the allowable limit for oil and grease (non-hydrocarbon) by more than eight times.

These substances were from the food waste generated during the company’s manufacturing operations. Checks conducted by CNA showed that the company produces rice flour food products including chee cheong fun, chwee kueh and png kueh.  

“Excessive levels of these substances in the sewage can upset used water treatment processes at PUB’s water reclamation plants and also disrupt NEWater production,” said the national water agency.

Investigations revealed that Whye Kee Foodstuff had failed to put in place effective measures to prevent and remove excessive food waste generated during the manufacturing processes from going into the sewers.

The company also did not pre-treat trade effluent to meet discharge limits as required under the Sewerage and Drainage (Trade Effluent) Regulations.

PUB said it has since revoked approval for the company to discharge trade effluent into sewers with effect from May 4 this year. The company is also required to engage appropriate waste collectors to collect its effluent for off-site disposal.

“Used water is a precious resource in Singapore and the integrity of our public sewerage system is crucial to PUB’s water reclamation process. Businesses and industries must take responsibility in ensuring their trade effluent meets PUB’s discharge standards to keep Singapore’s used water resources and sewerage network safe,” said Mr Maurice Neo, PUB's director of water reclamation network.

Mr Neo added that PUB will not hesitate to prosecute companies that disregard these regulations. Repeat offenders will be placed under surveillance and face more frequent inspections.

Source: CNA/zl

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