Firm fined for damaging water main, which disrupted supply to 38 homes
A construction company has been fined $56,500 for carrying out unauthorised works in Dunearn Road and damaging a large water main, disrupting water supply to 38 households nearby for more than nine hours.
Feng Ming Construction was on Aug 25 convicted of damaging the water main, which was 50cm in diameter, and slapped with a $55,000 fine - the highest imposed by the State Courts for such an offence.
It was also fined $1,500 for carrying out sheet piling works without submitting a plan for national water agency PUB's approval as required.
PUB said yesterday that Feng Ming Construction was carrying out the piling works on Sept 20 last year as part of a road widening project in the Bukit Timah area, when its piling machine drove a steel sheet pile into the ground and punctured a water main about 2.5m under the road surface.
PUB went on site to isolate the leak and carry out urgent repairs, and found a 10cm by 3cm hole in the water main.
The damage led to a loss of about 468,000 litres of potable water, one-fifth the volume of an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
PUB had to deploy a water wagon and provide water bags to the affected households.
Investigations found that Feng Ming Construction knew about the underground water main from the PUB service plan, but failed to carry out sufficient evaluation to physically ascertain the pipe's exact location and alignment.
This is the second time the company has got into trouble for such an offence. It was fined $40,000 for damaging a water main 30cm in diameter at Lorong 1 Geylang in 2013.
PUB said it takes a serious view of water wastage that could have been prevented had due diligence been exercised by the contractor.
Anyone who damages a water main with a diameter of 30cm or more can be fined up to $200,000, jailed for up to three years, or both.
Contractors installing sheet piles must ensure it is done according to a PUB-approved plan endorsed by a registered engineer and includes a method statement, impact assessment and an instrumental monitoring proposal.
Those who fail to comply can be fined up to $10,000.