SINGAPORE: Construction company Megastone Holdings has been fined S$44,500 for damaging a water main along the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) and carrying out excavation works without approval, national water agency PUB said on Tuesday (Jun 11).
The damage led to a loss of about 1.8 million litres of potable water, or about three quarters the size of an Olympic swimming pool. Water supply to SATS Inflight Catering was disrupted for about two hours, PUB said.
PUB had to shut down the water main to carry out urgent repairs to avoid further disruption of water supply to the customer and minimise water loss.
On Mar 27, Megastone conducted excavation works at a slip road from PIE to Airport Boulevard to lay a precast drain. An underground water main was punctured when the tip of the excavator bucket hit the water main.
"Investigations revealed that the contractor had failed to exercise due diligence when conducting excavation works in the vicinity of a water main," PUB said. "The contractor had excavated an area more than what was earlier marked out onsite."
The steel plate welded at the end of the excavator bucket to prevent the puncturing of any underground pipes had also dropped off during the excavation.
In addition, the contractor had failed to submit a plan to PUB before carrying out excavation work near the water main.
The plan should have been endorsed by a professional engineer, with information on the impact assessment and methodology of carrying out the excavation works, and an instrumentation and monitoring proposal.
This is Megastone’s first offence.
The penalty for damaging a PUB water main or connecting pipe with a diameter of 300mm or more is a fine of up to S$200,000, jail of up to three years, or both.
For carrying out works within the vicinity of water mains without an approved plan, the company could have been fined up to S$10,000.