Construction company fined $56,500 for damaging PUB water main and for unauthorised works

SINGAPORE – Feng Ming Construction was fined $56,500 for damaging a water main and carrying out unauthorised sheet piling installation works at Dunearn Road.

Singapore’s water agency PUB said in a statement on Monday (Sept 14) that the damage to the water pipe, which is 50cm in diameter, happened on Sept 20, 2019 and disrupted water supply to 38 households in the vicinity.

The damage led to the loss of about 468,000 litres of water, enough to fill one-fifth of an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Feng Ming Construction was carrying out unauthorised sheet piling works as part of a road-widening project in Bukit Timah when its piling machine drove a steel sheet pile into the ground and punctured the water main.

PUB uncovered a hole of about 10cm by 3cm on the water main when it went on site to isolate the leak and repair the damage.

The agency also deployed a water wagon and provided water bags to the affected households.

PUB’s investigations found that Feng Ming had failed to physically ascertain the exact location and alignment of the water main, despite knowing about the water main from the PUB water service plan.

Feng Ming was fined $55,000 for damaging the water main. This is the second time the construction company is being fined for the same reason. It was fined $40,000 for damaging a 30cm-diameter water main at Geylang Lorong 1 in October 2013.

Anyone who causes damage to PUB water mains with a diameter of 30cm or more can be fined up to $200,000 and jailed for up to three years.

The company was also fined an additional $1,500 for failing to get PUB’s approval before carrying sheet piling installation works.

Under the public utilities regulations for the protection of water pipes infrastructure, contractors installing sheet piles must ensure that it is approved by a registered professional engineer and include a method statement, an impact assessment and instrumental monitoring proposal.

Anyone who fails to do so can be fined up to $10,000.

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