Singapore

60km of new water pipelines over the next 2 years

Some 60km of new potable water pipelines, including one in Punggol, will be built underground over the next two years to meet demands from new developments, PUB said yesterday.

Ninety per cent of these projects will require the use of pipe jacking for some sections of the pipeline, said the national water agency. The method involves tunnelling beneath existing infrastructure such as MRT tunnels, power cables and drains.

Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli said yesterday: "We have to do this because our urban setting is more dense now. There is a lot of underground infrastructure that we have to bypass. The best way to do it is to go below them, deep under them."

Mr Masagos was speaking during a visit to a pipe-jacking worksite at Tanglin Halt for the $365 million Murnane Pipeline - which is expected to be ready in 2019.

Pipe jacking is about 2½ times more expensive and slower than the open-cut method - where the ground is dug, pipes are laid and covered up.

But it is also less disruptive to the daily lives of Singaporeans above areas where the tunnels are being built.

The 22km pipeline, first announced in 2014, with work starting in the second quarter last year, links the city to the Murnane Service Reservoir.

The pipeline is intended to meet future water demands, which is expected to double to about 115 million litres a day by 2060.

Singapore's water network is planned and laid such that it is interconnected and able to provide alternative supplies if maintenance or repair is needed, said PUB's director of water supply network Michael Toh.

Another pipeline in Punggol is also in the works, to meet increased water demands there. It will serve future residential, commercial and industrial developments in the east, including Changi Airport and Tampines North New Town, said a PUB spokesman.

Over the past six years, the Punggol estate has doubled from about 65,000 residents in 2011 to more than 130,000 last year.

Aside from the Murnane and Punggol projects, new pipelines are also slated for Tampines, Tuas and Tengah New Town.

PUBLIC UTILITIES BOARD (PUB)waterEnvironment