Singapore

Firm fined for damaging pipe, causing loss of 4.3m litres of water

This article is more than 12 months old

Engineering consultancy company Ryobi Geotechnique International was fined $48,000 last month for damaging one of Singapore's largest Newater mains.

Over 4.3 million litres of Newater was lost - nearly two Olympic-sized pools' worth of water - due to a round, 100mm-long crack found on the damaged main, said PUB, the national water agency, in a statement.

Deep excavation works were carried out over two days to locate and repair the pipe, which supplies Newater from the Changi Newater factories to the western parts of Singapore.

PUB said the incident happened during construction works for the Thomson-East Coast Line tunnels along Sungei Bedok opposite Bedok Ria Crescent on Dec 26, 2018.

Investigations showed that Ryobi Geotechnique had damaged a 2,200mm-diameter water main while carrying out boring works.

The company proceeded with drilling works without determining the exact position of the water main, nor did it consult PUB on its location.

The company had drilled to a depth of 3.6m when they encountered obstruction and water flowing out onto the ground.

The company also did not obtain PUB's approval for works near the water mains or take reasonable precautions to minimise risk of damage, read the statement.

Contractors should refer to PUB's advisory on the prevention of damage to water pipe infrastructure before carrying out construction works.

Under the Public Utilities Act, the penalty for causing damage to PUB water mains with a diameter of 300mm or more is a fine of up to $200,000, or imprisonment up to three years, or both.

Offences for carrying out works near water mains without approval from PUB can carry a maximum fine of $10,000. - OSMOND CHIA

COURT & CRIME