A construction company was fined S$42,000 earlier on 2 April 2019 for damaging a water main located at a construction site at River Valley Green, which led to a loss of approximately 1.5 million litres of potable water, equivalent to slightly more than half the size of an Olympic swimming pool.
National water agency PUB stated in a press release on Tuesday (16 April) that Dae Sung Construction Pte Ltd was a sub-contractor employed by Tiong Seng – Dong Ah Joint Venture to carry out soil improvement works for the construction of the Great World MRT Station and tunnels for the Thomson MRT Line.
According to the agency, an 800mm diameter water main was punctured when drilling works commenced on 15 February 2017.
Investigations then revealed that Dae Sung Construction had failed to ascertain the exact location and alignment of the water mains in the vicinity before drilling. In addition, they did not exercise due diligence in supervising their drilling rig operator when carrying out the drilling works.
After the puncture, PUB said that it had to carry out urgent repair works to avoid water supply disruption to customers and to minimise water loss. The affected water main had to be shut down for about 10 hours to facilitate repairs.
Under the Act, it is an offence to damage any PUB water main or connecting pipe with a diameter of 300mm or more. Offenders may be fined up to $200,000 or imprisoned up to three years, or both.
This was, however, Dae Sung Construction’s first offence, the agency noted. Dae Sung Construction was charged under the Public Utilities Act and fined $42,000.
Since 2015, PUB said that it has taken enforcement action against 27 contractors for causing damage to water mains or connecting pipes.
“PUB takes a serious view against such acts that could cause water wastage. Contractors should always refer to PUB’s advisory on the prevention of damage to water pipe infrastructure before carrying out any construction works in the vicinity of water mains,” the agency stated.