Forum: Review impact of mosquito control operations on water supply

Mosquito fogging operations being carried out near Anchorpoint on July 12, 2019.
Mosquito fogging operations being carried out near Anchorpoint on July 12, 2019.PHOTO: ST FILE

I refer to the recent incident where the water supply from water tanks at a Housing Board block in Ang Mo Kio was found to have trace amounts of hydrocarbon (Water tank not tampered with, but probe ongoing, Jan 21).

Dengue preventive measures such as fogging and spraying of anti-mosquito oil into drains are conducted regularly in Singapore.

While it has been suggested that the authorities review the piping system to the water tanks, one cannot help but wonder why the incident appeared to be localised at only the specific HDB block.

If it were indeed a systemic issue, then we should be hearing about many similar incidents at other HDB blocks over the years. But this does not appear to be the case.

Before jumping the gun, perhaps the more important and pertinent question to ask is whether the town councils should undertake a fundamental review with the National Environment Agency (NEA) on the fogging and spraying operations of their pest control operators, to prevent any future recurrence.

I urge Ang Mo Kio Town Council to work closely with the NEA to review its anti-mosquito operations to ensure that the water supply to its residents is not affected again.

Phua Chin Teck

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 28, 2020, with the headline 'Review impact of mosquito control operations on water supply'. Print Edition | Subscribe