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Sewage Services Charging Scheme >

Sewage Services Charges

1) Sewage Charge (SC) 2) Trade Effluent Surcharge (TES)

The legal basis of the sewage services charges is provided in the Sewage Services Ordinance. Sewage services charges have two components: the Sewage Charge (SC) and the Trade Effluent Surcharge (TES). The SC aims at recovering the cost of collecting and treating wastewater at or below domestic strength. The TES aims at recovering the additional cost of treating trade effluent with pollution strength exceeding that of the domestic sewage.

The sewage services charges are calculated based on water consumption readings provided by the Water Authority excluding water supplied specifically for flushing purposes. Only consumers whose premises are connected to the public sewer system are liable to pay sewage services charges.


1) Sewage Charge (SC)

Consumer of each domestic account is entitled to exempt from paying SC for the first 12 m3 supplied in each 4 monthly consumption period. From 1995 to 2008, the unit rate of the SC per m3 of water supplied remained at $1.20 without any adjustment.  After the Sewage Services (Sewage Charge) Amendment Regulation 2007 was enacted, the SC rate started to increase by 9.3% per annum, until $2.92 at 2017. The SC rates are shown below.

Effective Period Sewage Charge Rate ($/m3)
1.4.1995 – 31.3.2008 1.20
1.4.2008 – 31.3.2009 1.31
1.4.2009 – 31.3.2010 1.43
1.4.2010 – 31.3.2011 1.57
1.4.2011 – 31.3.2012 1.71
1.4.2012 – 31.3.2013 1.87
1.4.2013 – 31.3.2014 2.05
1.4.2014 – 31.3.2015 2.24
1.4.2015 – 31.3.2016 2.44
1.4.2016 – 31.3.2017 2.67
From 1.4.2017 onwards 2.92

For the trades listed in Schedule A, water would be consumed during the production process and hence the quantity of waste water generated would be less than the quantity of water supplied. These trades are therefore entitled to a reduction of SC and the total SC chargeable to their accounts are calculated based on 70% of the water supplied. The others are charged at 100% of the water supplied.


2) Trade Effluent Surcharge (TES)

Trades listed in Schedule B are required to pay TES in addition to SC because the pollution level of their trade effluent exceeds that of the domestic sewage. Under the charging scheme, the TES rates are determined by reference to the pollution levels (in terms of Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) values) of waste water generated by the respective trades. The prescribed generic COD values and the corresponding TES rates for different trades are also listed in Schedule B.

For the trades listed in Schedule C, water would be consumed during the production process and hence the quantity of trade effluent generated would be less than the quantity of water supplied. Those trades are therefore entitled to a reduction of TES and the total TES chargeable to their accounts are calculated based on 80% of the water supplied. The others are charged at 100% of the water supplied.


3) Frequently asked questions concerning trades (or businesses) requiring to pay TES

  1. What is Trade Effluent Surcharge (TES)?
  2. Among the 27 TES-chargeable trades, businesses and manufactures, what are the common ones that are liable to pay TES?
  3. Are all types of restaurants and eating places liable to pay TES?
  4. What are the common types of food manufacturing that are liable to pay TES?
  5. Are catering services liable to pay TES?
  6. If a water account has temporary or partially served TES-chargeable trades, is the water account liable to pay TES?
  7. What is classification code?  What if I don’t know which classification code I should choose for my trade business?
  8. Do I need to inform the DSD or WSD if the type of business is changed?
  9. A business consumes lots of water but only a small fraction would be discharged into sewer.  Is it not fair to calculate sewage charge (SC) based on water consumption as its aims is to recover the cost of collecting and treating wastewater?
  10. How to apply for COD reassessment on TES rate?
  11. When is COD reassessment application not acceptable to DSD?
  12. The use of sieves is a common practice in restaurant and food premises.  Does the use of sieves have to be implemented at all times after sampling has been completed? What happens if sieves have to be taken off for cleaning?
  13. Do I need to inform DSD if, during the validity period of the revised TES rate, a restaurant has changed its business operation mode, kitchen practice, sewage treatment practice, etc.?
     

Q1.  What is Trade Effluent Surcharge (TES)?

A1: Sewage services charges have two components, sewage charge (SC) and trade effluent surcharge (TES).  Apart from SC, 27 trades, businesses and manufactures which produce effluents with sewage strengths higher than that of domestic sewage are liable to pay TES.  The TES rates for these trades, businesses and manufactures are specified in the Sewage Services (Trade Effluent Surcharge) Regulation.

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Q2.  Among the 27 TES-chargeable trades, businesses and manufactures, what are the common ones that are liable to pay  TES?
A2:  The common trades, businesses and manufactures that are liable to pay TES are restaurants (including eating places and takeaway), bakeries and food manufacturing.


Q3.  Are all types of restaurants and eating places liable to pay TES?

A3:  Most restaurants and eating places are liable to pay TES, including those in private clubs, hotels and canteens in institutions.


Q4.  What are the common types of food manufacturing that are liable to pay TES?

A4: Common types of food manufacturing that are liable to pay TES are those involved in preparing and preserving meat, preserving and processing of fish and crustaceans, noodles and similar products, preserving of fruit and vegetables, bakery products and dairy products, etc.


Q5.  Are catering services liable to pay TES?

A5:  Catering services are liable to pay TES, including those serving cooked food for takeaway.


Q6.  If a water account has temporary or partially served TES-chargeable trades, is the water account liable to pay TES?

A6:  Yes.  Under the Sewage Services Ordinance, where the premises are used for operating as a TES trade, the registered consumer (RC) shall pay a TES at a prescribed rate for each cubic metre of water supplied by the Water Authority.  Simply speaking, RC has to pay TES according to the water consumption of the water account.  Therefore, the RC is advised to apply to the Water Authority for separate water accounts for the TES businesses to protect their interest.


Q7.  What is classification code?  What if I don’t know which classification code I should choose for my trade business?

A7:  When you apply to be the registered consumer of water supply, you are required to specify the nature of water usage.  For non-domestic accounts, you are further required to specify the business classification of the supply.  All the business classifications and their corresponding classification codes are shown in the “Classification of Water Consumer Accounts” leaflet available from DSD and the Water Supplies Department (WSD).  The 27 TES-chargeable Trades are as follows:

Business Code Trade, Business or Manufacture TES Rate ($/m3)
1.4.1995 – 31.7.2008 1.8.2008 – 31.7.2009 1.8.2009 onwards
328904 Yarn sizing 3.78 4.13 4.51
328902 Washing new garments, excluding laundries 0.82 0.41 0.41
328700 Bleaching and dyeing of garments 0.64 * *
328600 Bleaching and dyeing of knitted fabric 1.01 0.41 0.41
328500 Bleaching and dyeing of woven fabric 1.73 1.20 1.20
328200 Textile stencilling and printing 1.32 * *
327600 Knit outerwear 1.01 0.41 0.41
320998 Wearing apparel other than knit outerwear 1.80 0.41 0.41
325200 Spinning cotton 0.34 0.37 0.41
952000 Laundries 0.60 * *
352300 Soap and cleaning preparations, perfumes, cosmetics 3.78 4.13 4.51
352200 Medicines 3.78 4.13 4.51
352100 Paints, varnishes and lacquers 1.16 1.27 1.38
351100 Basic industrial chemicals 3.78 0.76 0.76
323100 Tanneries and leather finishing 2.56 0.76 0.76
341100 Pulp, paper and paperboard 4.09 4.47 4.88
313300 Soft drinks and carbonated waters industries 1.49 0.47 0.47
313200 Breweries and manufacture of malt liquor 3.29 4.13 4.51
313100 Distilling, rectifying and blending spirits 0.11 4.13 4.51
312200 Cocoa, chocolate and sugar confectionery 3.78 4.13 4.51
311800 Vermicelli, noodles, and similar farinaceous products 3.29 4.13 4.51
311700 Bakery products 3.29 3.59 3.92
311600 Grain mill products 5.98 2.77 2.77
311500 Vegetable oil, peanut oil, peppermint oil and aniseed oil 3.78 2.48 2.48
311400 Canning, preserving and processing of fish and crustaceans 1.73 1.78 1.78
311300 Canning and preserving fruit and vegetables 3.63 3.41 3.41
311200 Dairy products 3.78 4.13 4.51
311100 Slaughtering,preparing and preserving meat 3.78 1.74 1.74
312913 Soy and other sauces 3.78 4.13 4.51
641100, 641200, 641300, 641998 Restaurants 3.78 3.05 3.05

Note:
*With effect from 1.8.2008, the operators of "Bleaching and dyeing of garments", "Textile stencilling and printing" or "Laundries" trades are no longer required to pay the TES.


Q8.  Do I need to inform the DSD or WSD if the type of business is changed?

A8:  If the type of business of an account is changed, the registered consumer or his agent should notify DSD or WSD immediately to correct the business classifications.


Q9.  A business consumes lots of water but only a small fraction would be discharged into sewer.  Is it not fair to calculate sewage charge (SC) based on water consumption as its aims is to recover the cost of collecting and treating wastewater?

A9:  A non-domestic consumer can apply for a reassessment of the discharge factor for reduction of SC or TES if the consumer can demonstrate that the volume of sewage discharged into the public sewerage system is not more than 85% of the volume of water supplied on which the SC or TES is based.


Q10. How to apply for COD reassessment on TES rate?

A10: Details of application are outlined in our “Guidelines on application for Reassessment of Chemical Oxygen Demand under Sewage servies (Trade Effluent Surcharge) Regulation".
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Q11. When is COD reassessment application not acceptable to DSD?

A11: In principle, DSD will not accept any application in which the samples taken are not representative or if fraud and deceit are uncovered during sampling or in the presentation of documents.


Q12. The use of sieves is a common practice in restaurant and food premises.  Does the use of sieves have to be implemented at all times after sampling has been completed? What happens if sieves have to be taken off for cleaning?

A12: The use of sieves is regarded as a means of pollution control, therefore, their number and presence must be maintained at all times after sampling has been completed.  An extra set of sieves should be kept on hand to replace the sieves in use when they have to be taken off for cleaning.  The results of the COD reassessment of an applicant who fails to implement such pollution control measures after completion of the sampling will not be accepted for the reduction of TES rate.

Q13. Do I need to inform DSD if, during the validity period of the revised TES rate, a restaurant has changed its business operation mode, kitchen practice, sewage treatment practice, etc.?

A13: Yes.  DSD will examine if the revised TES rate is still applicable. The RC should also appoint a HOKLAS laboratory to submit a COD reassessment application as soon as practicable.