SINGAPORE: Two construction firms have been fined for damaging PUB water mains, leading to the loss of more than 1.6 million litres of drinking water.
Ground Instrumentation & Engineering and Sato Kogyo (S) were fined S$54,000 on Jun 11 and S$48,000 on Jun 19 respectively for damaging two separate water mains while carrying out construction work, the national water agency said in a media release on Tuesday (Jul 2).
The total water loss was about two-thirds of an Olympic-sized swimming pool, said PUB.
The two are repeat offenders, added the agency, with this being the second water main damage conviction for both companies.
Sato Kogyo was fined for damaging a water main at Upper Thomson Road on Jan 4, 2017.
The 300mm-diameter water main was damaged while construction works were being carried out for the Upper Thomson Station and tunnels for the Thomson-East Coast Line.
The damage led to the disruption of water supply to 13 residents at the nearby Upper Thomson and Bright Hill estates and caused "significant water loss" of 720,000 litres of potable water, said PUB.
The agency deployed a water wagon and provided water bags to supply water to the residents.
"Investigations showed that Sato Kogyo had failed to provide proper support for the water main after the removal of the soil cover," said PUB.
The company did not install the necessary support structures, resulting in the water main being dislodged at its joint.
Sato Kogyo was previously fined S$40,000 in July 2013 for damaging a water main at Bedok Reservoir Road. Another charge for damaging a different water main along Nicoll Highway was taken into consideration.
LARGEST FINE TO DATE FOR WATER MAIN DAMAGE
Separately, Ground Instrumentation & Engineering was convicted of two charges and fined after damaging a water main while carrying out works at Raffles Country Club.
During soil investigation works, a drilling machine punctured a hole in a 2,200mm-diameter water main, causing 890,000 litres of potable water to be wasted.
"Investigations revealed that the company did not consult PUB on the location of the water main, nor determine the exact alignment and depth of the water main before commencing soil investigation works," said PUB.
Under regulations, soil investigation work carried out within 20m laterally from the centre line of a 2,200mm-diameter water main needs an approved plan.
This plan must be endorsed by a professional engineer, with a method statement and an impact assessment, and a proposal of how the excavation works will be carried out and monitored.
Ground Instrumentation & Engineering did not submit such a plan to PUB before carrying out their works, and failed to take "all reasonable precautions" to avoid damaging the water main, said PUB.
The company was fined S$52,000 for damaging the 2,200mm-diameter water main and S$2,000 for carrying out drilling works without an approved plan from PUB on Aug 27, 2018.
"This has been the highest fine to date for a water main damage case, and the 2,200mm-diameter water main is by far the largest water main damage case prosecuted," said PUB.
The company was previously fined S$40,000 in June 2016 for damaging a 300mm-diameter water main near the junction of Bukit Timah Road and Newton Circus.