Problems & Solutions

Sewage Treatment and Charges

Proper sewage treatment protects our marine environment and safeguards public health. At present the Government funds the capital cost of all sewage treatment facilities in full, whereas part of the cost of sewage collection, treatment and disposal is shared within the community in accordance with the polluter-pays principle. 

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.


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. From 1 April 2017 onwards, the SC rate is $2.92 per cubic metre of water supplied.

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.


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 relating to account particulars, payment or other 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

Back to topTable of Content