2 contractors fined for drainage lapses at construction sites

2 contractors fined for drainage lapses at construction sites

Collage showing lapses at Chye Joo's construction sites
Composite image showing lapses at Chye Joo's Jurong Road construction site (left) and Jalan Gali Batu construction site. (Photos: PUB)

SINGAPORE: Two Singapore contractors were given "big fines" for not having adequate measures in place to deal with silty water discharge from their construction sites, PUB said in a media release on Thursday (May 23).

Chye Joo Construction and The Builders (Hup Huat) were fined S$30,300 and S$14,400 respectively for flouting earth control measures (ECM) regulations, said the national water agency. 

The companies were fined for not complying with the conditions of their PUB-issued clearance certificates before starting construction works.

The contractors' offences were uncovered between October and December last year during PUB’s regular inspections of construction sites as well as investigations stemming from public feedback, said the agency.

Among its offences, Chye Joo Construction was found to have discharged silty water which had levels of suspended particles far higher than allowable limits.

Silty water containing total suspended solids in a concentration of almost 400 times more than allowable limits was discharged into the public drainage system at its Jalan Gali Batu work site.

The company failed to maintain proper measures, said PUB, causing the water to overflow onto a footpath and subsequently into the roadside drain.

Silty water treatment plants and holding ponds at the company's Jalan Gali Batu and Jurong Road work sites were also found to be too small, causing it to enter roadside drains and waterways.

Chye Joo also failed to install a perimeter drain to channel surface run-off to a holding pond, not putting up a complete silt fence along its earth drain, and not covering large bare areas with erosion control blankets, said PUB.

At another work site at North Buona Vista Drive, the contractor had allowed silt to build up within its treatment plant, causing it to overload and discharge silty water into a public drain.

THE BUILDERS (HUP HUAT)

Separately, The Builders (Hup Huat) were fined for failing to implement adequate earth control measures at Tampines Avenue 5 and Fernvale Street worksites.

"The Builders had failed to implement ECM in accordance to the approved plans, which should have included an adequate silty water treatment plant and the construction of cut-off drains to contain silty water within the site," said PUB. 

The Builders' construction site at Fernvale Street
A cut-off drain was not constructed at The Builders’ construction site at Fernvale Street to contain silty water within the site, said PUB. (Photo: PUB)

There was also no CCTV system in place to monitor the water quality of discharged water before it entered the public drainage system, it added.

Silty water is generated when rainwater run-off mixes with exposed earth materials and soil at construction sites. 

The Builders' construction site at Fernvale Street
An undersized silty water treatment plant at The Builders’ construction site at Fernvale Street. (Photo: PUB)

If such water is not properly treated before being discharged into public drains, silt can build up in waterways and make them less effective in channeling stormwater flow, according to PUB.

Last year, more than 100 contractors were prosecuted and fined for flouting drainage regulations. 

Their offences included unauthorised alterations and interference to the public drainage system and flouting earth control measure regulations.

Source: CNA/nc(mn)

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