The PUB, Singapore’s national water agency, has fined two construction companies a total of $77,000 for causing serious damage to its potable water mains.
It said in a media release on Thursday (3 January) that the damage resulted in a combined water loss of more than 6,400 cubic metres, or nearly three Olympic-sized swimming pools.
HSC fined $47k after jacking machine hits water main
The first company, HSC Pipeline Engineering Pte Ltd, was fined $47,000 under the Public Utilities Act for damaging a 1,200mm-diameter water main on 17 December 2016.
This occurred while the company was carrying out underground pipe-jacking works at the junction of Woodlands Avenue 8 and Woodlands Avenue 9.
Before carrying out any work in the vicinity of water mains, contractors are required to dig trial trenches to determine the water mains’ alignment and depth. They must then submit the necessary documents to obtain PUB’s approval before commencing work.
However, HSC failed to ascertain the physical location of the water main, resulting in its jacking machine hitting the water main. The water main had to be shut down and PUB received complaints of discoloured water supply from commercial premises nearby.
HSC had also previously damaged a 150mm-diameter PUB pipe in June 2013, and the offence was compounded with a composition fine of $3,000.
SNK fined $30k for puncturing water main
The second company, SNK Engineering & Trading Pte Ltd, was charged fo damaging a 300mm-diameter potable water main at a construction site along Cecil Street on 2 October 2017.
SNK was a sub-contractor carrying out removal works of an existing drain to construct a new drain and walkway. However, it punctured a hole in the water main when hacking the existing drain, which resulted in the loss of 360 cubic metres of water.
The company failed to abide by PUB’s protection guidelines on working near water mains and did not exercise the necessary precautions to minimise the risk of damage. It was fined $30,000 under the Public Utilities Act.
“Water mains are important infrastructure that convey treated water from PUB’s water treatment plants and service reservoirs to the homes and offices in Singapore,” said Ridzuan Ismail, PUB’s Director of Water Supply (Network) Department.
“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.
“We urge all contractors to exercise utmost caution and ensure adequate measures are in place when carrying out works near water mains.”
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