SINGAPORE: The discoloured tap water found at the Basic Military Training Centre (BMTC) on Pulau Tekong last November was due to naturally occurring minerals that accumulated in the water supply network over time, Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli said in Parliament on Monday (Feb 3).
He was responding to a parliamentary question from Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Leon Perera on the cause of the discolouration and measures in place to reduce the risk of such incidents in the future.
“PUB investigated and found that these minerals in the pipes serving BMTC were churned up, thus affecting the appearance of the water. The tap water turned clear after flushing of the water supply network,” said Mr Masagos.
The water supply at the BMTC was disrupted for at least 38 hours as PUB officers worked overnight to flush out the water network.
PUB sent water wagons to provide temporary water supply to the servicemen on Pulau Tekong, and conducted water sampling to ensure that the water was safe for consumption and within the drinking water quality standards under the Environmental Public Health Regulations 2019 and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines.
To prevent a repeat of such incidents, Mr Masagos said that PUB was working with BMTC to carry out the cleaning of water mains in Pulau Tekong during the first half of 2020, during a break in BMTC’s training schedule.
In a supplementary question, Mr Perera asked if the water quality standards on Pulau Tekong matched that found on the mainland.
Mr Masagos responded that all drinking water – whether on Pulau Tekong or on the mainland – is tested to ensure their potability based on regulations and WHO’s guidelines.