Contractors fined for damaging sewer pipes

Two contractors have been fined $40,000 each for damaging public sewerage pipes, national water agency PUB said in a press statement yesterday.

The two separate incidents occurred under a project by Ley Choon Constructions and Engineering to divert pipelines for the construction of the Thomson-East Coast Line in Woodlands.

Zhao Yang Geotechnic, a subcontractor for Ley Choon, was drilling at the junction of Woodlands Avenue 1 and Woodlands Avenue 2 as part of soil improvement works on Jan 10, 2014, when it ignored instructions and drilled beyond the required depth, hitting and damaging the 1,500mm diameter pipe.

On May 3 that year, Ley Choon damaged a 1,200mm diameter pipe while carrying out drilling works in Woodlands Avenue 2, after it failed to ascertain the alignment and depth of the pipe before starting to drill.

Contractors working near public sewers have to get the Sewerage Information Plan from PUB before starting work. Trial trenches must also be created to confirm the alignment and depth of pipes in the area.

Those found guilty of failing to do so can be fined up to $50,000 and/or jailed for up to three years. Those who damage public sewerage pipes with diameters of 900mm or more can be fined up to $200,000 and/or jailed for up to two years.

Mr Maurice Neo, PUB's director of water reclamation network, said: "Causing damage to public sewers is a serious offence that compromises the conveyance of used water and... may lead to sewage leak and environmental pollution."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 25, 2017, with the headline 'Contractors fined for damaging sewer pipes'. Print Edition | Subscribe