Legislation & Guidelines

Water quality is one of the most vital aspects of our environment. Effective control of water pollution is achieved through enactment of the Water Pollution Control Ordinance (WPCO) in 1980. The WPCO provides statutory powers for the control on wastewater discharges, the declaration of water control zones and establishment of water quality objectives. The EPD is required to control water pollution, and to achieve and maintain water quality objectives in order to promote conservation and the best uses of Hong Kong waters in the public interest.

Amendments to the WPCO were introduced in 1990 to strengthen the control by eliminating the exemption for existing dischargers and introducing a Technical Memorandum on discharge limits. The amendments in 1993 provide new regulation-making powers to require existing premises to connect to new sewers.

Hong Kong has to fulfill obligations under the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, 1972 (the “London Convention” in short) to protect the marine environment. The Dumping at Sea Act 1974 (Overseas Territories) Order 1975 (before 1995) and the Dumping at Sea Ordinance (DASO) (after 1995) were enforced to implement the obligations under the London Convention. Through a permit system administered by the EPD, control was exercised on the disposal and dumping of substances and articles from vessels into the sea or to the seabed under the DASO.

This section contains guidelines which assist dischargers and permit applicants in complying with legislative requirements under the WPCO and the DASO. It highlights the legislative requirements and provide technical advice on compliance with the requirements.