A company called Feng Ming Construction has been slapped with a fine amounting to S$56,500 for damaging a large water main and conducting unauthorised works at Dunearn Road back in September last year. The company’s action has caused water disruption to 38 households in the area.
PUB noted in a press release on Monday (14 September) that Feng Ming Construction was convicted of damaging a 500mm diameter water main and fined S$55,000.
This is the highest amount imposed by the State Courts for water main damage under the Public Utilities Act to date, the agency stated.
If that’s not all, the company was also fined another S$1,500 for carrying out unauthorised sheet piling construction works.
The damage caused by the company had led to the loss of nearly 468,000 litres of water, an amount enough to fill one-fifth of an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
This is the second time the construction company was fined for the same offence. In October 2013, the company was fined S$40,000 for damaging a 30cm-diameter water main at Geylang Lorong 1.
Under the Public Utilities Act, anyone who causes damage to PUB water mains with a diameter of 30cm or more can be slapped with a fine up to S$200,000 and jailed for up to three years, or both.
Unauthorised works punctured the water main
On 20 September 2019, the construction company conducted sheet piling works at Dunearn Road, which is part of the road widening project in the Bukit Timah area.
While carrying out the works, a piling machine drove a steel sheet pile into the ground and punctured a 500mm diameter water main at a depth of 2.5m under the road surface, PUB explained.
“PUB was alerted and immediately went on site to isolate the leak and carry out urgent repair works, which uncovered a hole of about 100mm by 30mm on the water main,” said the agency.
Following that, water supply to 38 homes in the area was disrupted for nearly nine-and-a-half hours, said PUB. The agency deployed water wagon and water bags were supplied to the affected households.
Based on PUB’s investigations, it found that that Feng Ming Construction knew that there is an underground water main, as displayed in the agency’s water service plan.
“However, the contractor had failed to carry out sufficient trial trenching evaluation to physically ascertain the exact location and alignment of the water main,” said PUB.