74 construction firms penalised for water pollution in 2017

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A total of 74 construction contractors were punished for discharging silty water into waterways and for providing inadequate earth control measures this year, national water agency PUB said yesterday.

While this is below the past three years' average of 100 enforcement actions each year, PUB said these errant practices could harm the environment.

Where there are excavation-type activities, known as earthworks, rain can mix with exposed earth and soil, creating a silty run-off that enters drainage systems and water bodies.

This causes an accumulation of sediment in the waterways, reducing drainage capacity.

Currently, there are about 1,000 construction sites involved in earthworks.

Of the 74 firms cited, PUB highlighted four that were penalised this year.

Two were repeat offenders - Huationg Contractor, which was fined $13,500 for four offences, and Samwoh, which was fined $10,500 for three offences.

Two others, Peng Chuan Engineering Construction and Stallion Development, were also found to have carried out works without a clearance certificate from PUB. This could lead to silty water being discharged into the drainage system, said PUB.

Peng Chuan was fined $7,800 and Stallion $7,000.


"All contractors are required to plan for and implement (earth control measures) at their sites," said the agency, adding that it conducts regular checks at these sites for any breach of earth control measures.

Depending on the stage of construction work and size of earthworks, these checks can range from fortnightly to once every two months.