Contractors fined for damage to water mains and massive water loss

Two construction companies have been fined on 3 January a total of SGD77,000 for causing serious damage to potable water mains, which resulted in more than 6,400 cubic metres water lost, or nearly three Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Singapore’s national water agency PUB said in a statement that HSC Pipeline Engineering was fined SGD47,000 for the damage, while SNK Engineering & Trading was fined SGD30,000. Both companies were convicted in August 2018.

Investigations revealed that HSC Pipeline Engineering damaged a 1,200-millimetre-diameter water main on Dec 17, 2016, while carrying out underground pipe-jacking works at a site at the junction of Woodlands Avenue 8 and Woodlands Avenue 9.

HSC failed to ascertain the location of the water main and damaged it while using the jacking machine in this incident, as reported by Channel News Asia. The water supply had to be shut down, and PUB also received complaints of discoloured water from nearby commercial premises.

“PUB takes a serious view of damage to our water mains. In severe cases, damaged mains can lead to a disruption in water supply or discoloured water to nearby amenities and cause inconvenience to users,” said director of water supply (network) department Ridzuan Ismail.

He also urged contractors to exercise caution when carrying out works near water mains and ensure that adequate measures are in place.

PUB has also prosecuted and fined a total of 128 contractors in the first 11 months of 2018 for carrying out construction works that made alterations to or interfered with the public drainage system, or violated the earth control measures regulations.

Some of the unauthorised alterations made to the drainage system include building structures, pipes and concrete walls in the drains.

Among the companies fined were Hwa Seng Builder, Koon Construction & Transport Co and Sato Kogyo (S), as reported by Straits Times.

The national water agency said that it uncovered these offences during regular inspections of construction sites and investigations arising from public feedback.

“PUB takes a serious view of construction works that affect our public drainage system, as (they) may cause flash floods and impact water quality in our catchment and waterways,” PUB said in a 27 December statement. — Construction+ Online