Appendix 5.1 : Principal Framework for Planning against Water Pollution


The principal legislation is the Water Pollution Control Ordinance (WPCO) which allows for gazettal of Water Control Zones (WCZ) within which the discharge of liquid effluents and the deposit of matter into any water bodies and public sewers and drains are controlled. Water Quality Objectives are declared for each Water Control Zone on the basis of the beneficial uses of the water bodies therein. In turn, the Objectives, which may vary spatially, form a basis for fixing the conditions contained in licences under which discharges and deposits may occur.


The Water Pollution Control Ordinance applies control to all discharges and deposits. Technical Memorandum has been provided under the Ordinance which acts as a guide to the setting of the standards required, in various circumstances, for inclusion in licences with which the discharge must comply.


The discharge of polluting effluents is tightly controlled in the Water Gathering Grounds with high level of treatment being required (Figure 5.1).


Other relevant legislation includes the livestock waste control provisions of the Waste Disposal Ordinance which prohibit livestock keeping in urban areas and provide for the implementation of the Livestock Waste Control Scheme in other areas (See Appendix 6.1 for details).


Those involved in the planning and implementation of works should also determine if the planning area falls within or includes a marine Fish Culture Zone. A number of Fish Culture Zones have been designated under the Marine Fish Culture Ordinance (Figure 5.1). It is an offence to pollute the waters of these zones.

Potentially Polluting and Sensitive Uses


Potentially polluting uses :

  • industry and agriculture (including livestock keeping and slaughterhouses);

  • sewage disposal (including sewage from private residential developments);

  • civil engineering works (including all building works, well boring, site investigation, dredging, reclamation, excavation of fill, man-made lagoons etc.); and

  • transport facilities.


Sensitive uses, which may also have the potential to cause significant environmental impact :

  • bathing;

  • aquaculture and fisheries;

  • agriculture;

  • residential and recreational development; and

  • typhoon shelters, marinas and boat parks.

(c) Other sensitive uses :

  • water gathering grounds;

  • nature reserves;

  • Sites of Special scientific Interest;

  • marine parks/marine reserves;

  • coastal protection areas;

  • conservation areas; and

  • fish spawning grounds.

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   Last revision date : May 2014