AECOM Helps Improve the Water Quality of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour

May 19, 2015 10:05 AM ET
Campaign: Safety for Life
AECOM supervisors oversee the hook-up of explosives in Tunnel P at Aberdeen, an urban area on the south side of Hong Kong Island.

A culture of caring

AECOM designed and supervised the Harbour Area Treatment Scheme Stage 2A project to improve Victoria Harbour’s water quality — benefiting approximately six million people.

According to Hong Kong’s Drainage Services Department, every day, the country’s 7-million-plus residents generate 2.6 million cubic meters (92 million cubic feet) of raw sewage — the equivalent of 1,400 Olympic-sized swimming pools — much of which is discharged into Victoria Harbour.

To improve the harbor’s water quality, AECOM’s water and urban development team designed and supervised the Harbour Area Treatment Scheme (HATS) Stage 2A. The project’s sewage conveyance system (SCS) intercepts sewage from the northern and western shores of Hong Kong Island for centralized treatment prior to discharge — ultimately benefiting approximately six million people and making the harbor fit for resident swimming following a 33-year ban resulting from pollution.

The SCS comprises approximately 13 miles (21 kilometers) of sewage tunnels constructed by drill and blast methods at depths ranging from 230 feet (70 meters) to 525 feet (160 meters) below sea level, and approximately 1 mile (1.4 kilometers) of tunnels constructed by horizontal directional drilling.

Managing a high standard of safety was important to AECOM’s site supervision teams, especially on such a large-scale and complex project in a confined tunneling environment. Team members were trained as blasting competent supervisors and resident explosive supervisors to oversee blasting operations and ensure that contractors’ operations safely complied with the applicable statutory requirements. Throughout the project — including tunnel lining and 7,000 blasting operations — AECOM achieved no serious injuries or incidents.

Recognized with six awards, AECOM partnered with the client, local safety organizations and contractors to promote a safe working culture and enhance safety and health awareness through internal and external safety campaigns and forums. In addition, before and during blasting operations, resident site staff conducted public consultations and circulated informative notices to prevent safety or environmental concerns from nearby stakeholders.

“Thanks to our consultant AECOM … for providing professional design and on-site supervision for the HATS project,” said C. C. Chan, Hong Kong’s former director of drainage services, at the project breakthrough ceremony. “I would also like to thank them for establishing and maintaining a good relationship with the stakeholders.”

Check out AECOM’s most recent safety report for more on how the company promotes safety around the world.


AECOM is a premier, fully integrated professional and technical services firm positioned to design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets around the world for public- and private-sector clients. With nearly 100,000 employees — including architects, engineers, designers, planners, scientists and management and construction services professionals — serving clients in over 150 countries around the world, AECOM is ranked as the #1 engineering design firm by revenue in Engineering News-Record magazine’s annual industry rankings, and has been recognized by Fortune magazine as a World’s Most Admired Company. The firm is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, oil and gas, water, high-rise buildings and government. AECOM provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence in delivering customized and creative solutions that meet the needs of clients’ projects. A Fortune 500 firm, AECOM companies, including URS Corporation and Hunt Construction Group, had revenue of approximately $19 billion during the 12 months ended March 31, 2015. More information on AECOM and its services can be found at

Media Contact:
Ed Mayer
Vice President, Corporate Communications