Online claims about lack of action on alleged leaks, water contamination in DBSS flat ‘untrue’: HDB

Online claims about lack of action on alleged leaks, water contamination in DBSS flat ‘untrue’: HDB

Geraldine Tang's house
Ms Geraldine Tang shared photos of her HDB flat, citing water and odour issues. (Photo: Facebook/Geraldine Tang) 

SINGAPORE: It is "untrue" that authorities did not take action to address online claims by a woman that there were leaks and water contamination in her flat, said the Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Tuesday (Jul 14).

Multiple site inspections were carried out since the woman first reported the issues in 2015, said HDB. 

"The investigations revealed no defects in the sewage system or other areas, which could possibly cause the alleged foul smell within the flat," said HDB. "PUB had also tested water samples from her flat, which showed that the water is safe for drinking."

The woman, Ms Geraldine Tang, said in Facebook post on Jul 4 that a foul smell would “invade” the bathrooms in her Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) flat after her neighbours use the toilets. 

She posted photos of her flat, including one of the bathroom, saying it is "smelly and hot almost 24 hours ... badly damaged from five years of heat, bugs and moisture coming from units above and below".

In a lengthy Facebook post, Ms Tang also said her bedroom floor gets "cold and wet" whenever the neighbour switches on the air conditioning or takes hot showers, and that there was "bacteria in tap water" that caused her skin problems.

WOMAN REPORTED SIMILAR ISSUES AT PREVIOUS HOMES, NO DEFECTS FOUND: HDB

According to HDB and PUB, Ms Tang had reported similar issues at two previous homes before this. She now lives at Belvia in Bedok Reservoir Crescent.

"In all of these cases, our inspections found the fittings and materials to be in order," said HDB in a Facebook post.

It added that an indoor air quality specialist who had inspected Ms Tang’s flat reported that the windows and doors were constantly closed, “resulting in poor ventilation as well as high temperature and humidity within the flat".

“It was also observed that multiple cleaning chemicals were used to disinfect the floor and wash the walls of the flat. The specialist concluded that the microbial growth within the flat is likely a result of the poor ventilation and excessive washing over time,” said HDB.

“Ms Tang, however, did not heed the advice of the specialist to ventilate the flat.” 

HDB went on to advise residents not to wash the flat with excessive water. They should use a damp cloth to remove any dirt and stains on walls, and keep their windows open after washing the floors, it added.

Addressing Ms Tang's claims, PUB said it has been attending to her feedback at three different residences since 2013.

"Each time, PUB officers had promptly gone to her flat to collect water samples for testing and checked on the watermains serving her estate," said PUB in a Facebook post. 

"Our test results showed that the water quality was satisfactory. We also checked Ms Tang’s sanitary system in her toilet and noted that the system was in order, with no defects," it added.

"We have repeatedly explained to Ms Tang that the many rounds of investigations and tests have shown that the water supplied to her is entirely satisfactory and safe for drinking. PUB had conducted leak detection work at her premises and found no service pipe leak within her premises."

PUB said it had advised her to follow up with the developer to rectify any water seepage issue. 

"PUB maintains a strict monitoring regime at every step to ensure that tap water is safe for consumption. Water samples from consumers’ taps are also tested daily," said the agency. 

Both agencies noted that they have not received similar feedback from other residents in Ms Tang’s precinct. 

Source: CNA/hw(gs)

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