SINGAPORE - Seventy-four construction contractors were punished for discharging silty water into waterways and for providing inadequate earth control measures this year, national water agency PUB said in a statement on Tuesday (Dec 26).
While this is below the past three years' average of 100 enforcement actions each year, the agency said these errant practices can negatively affect the environment.
This typically happens at sites where there are excavation-type activities, also known as earthworks. Rain can mix with exposed earth and soil, creating a silty run-off which enters drainage systems and water bodies.
Currently, there are about 1,000 construction sites involved in earthworks.
"Silt, if not removed from construction discharge, will build up in the waterways. This will affect waterways' effectiveness in channelling stormwater flow and also the environmental aesthetics," said the statement.
Of the 74 companies, the agency highlighted four that were penalised this year. Two were repeat offenders - Huationg Contractor, which was fined $13,500 for four offences, and Samwoh, which was fined $10,500 for three offences.
Huationg had twice failed to provide and maintain earth control measures to the code required by PUB when carrying out earthworks, netting $3,500 in fines.
Huationg was charged in court last month and fined $10,000 for a further two offences of not meeting the water quality requirement for the treated run-off and failing to comply with the conditions of a clearance certificate issued by PUB.
Meanwhile, Samwoh was penalised twice for also failing to meet the water quality requirement for run-off. It was fined $2,500 for an earlier infraction, and $8,000 in court last month for another instance of failing to meet the water quality requirement for run-off, as well as for non-compliance with a PUB notice to review its earth control measures.
Two other firms, Peng Chuan Engineering Construction and Stallion Development, were also found to have carried out works without a clearance certificate from PUB. This could lead to silty water being discharged into the drainage system, said the PUB.
Peng Chuan was fined $7,800 and Stallion $7,000.
"All contractors are required to plan for and implement (earth control measures) at their sites," said the agency, adding that it conducts regular checks at these sites for any breach of earth control measures (ECMs).
Depending on the stage of construction work and size of earthworks, these checks can range from fortnightly to once every two months.
Said PUB's chief engineer of drainage operations Choy Wai Kwong: "To protect our source of water supply, all of us should play our part in keeping our waterways clean.
"It is important to adopt a co-ownership approach, where PUB works closely with the construction industry to build industry competencies and maintain high ECM standards."
Singapore Contractors Association president Kenneth Loo said his organisation has worked with the agency to produce and continually update an ECM guidebook. This is to share the best environmental practices and requirements with the industry, he added.
"Our role as contractors is vital in keeping Singapore's waterways clean and beautiful," said Mr Loo.
List of contractors fined in 2017:
1. Huationg Contractor
3. Tiong Seng Contractors
4. Kay Lim Construction & Trading
5. Sing Yiet Civil Engineering Contractor
6. TPS Construction
7. Peng Chuan Engineering Construction
8. Stallion Development
9. Hon Industries
10. Anmani General Construction
11. Boon Tian Contractor
13. Hexacon Construction
14. Lian Ho Lee Construction
15. Mo Guan Construction Engineering
16. Pitney Enterprises
17. Progressive Builders
18. Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Co (Singapore)
19. Shin Khai Construction
20. Sunpeak Construction
21. Jurong Primewide
22. Kindly Construction & Services
23. SB Procurement
24. SH Design & Build
25. Ed. Zublin Singapore Branch
26. Emergent Engineering
27. Smitech Engineering
28. Tiong Aik Construction
29. Swee Hong
30. Wai Fong Construction
31. Tiong Seng - Dongah Joint Venture
32. Authentic Builder
33. Gammon Construction Singapore Branch
34. Keong Hong Construction
35. Lim Kim Huat Building Construction
36. Straits Construction
37. Welltech Construction
38. Sunhuan Construction
39. CMC Construction
40. Earth Construction & Trading
41. Mo Guan Seng Machinery Engineering
42. Beng Heng Engineering
43. CES Engineering & Construction
44. CHC Construction
45. China Construction Realty
46. Chuan Lim Construction
47. CKR Contract Services
48. Dragages Singapore
49. ECO Energy
51. Entron Construction
52. Feng Ming Construction
53. Gammon Construction
54. Ho Lee Construction
55. Hock Lian Seng Infrastructure
56. Hong Hock Global
57. Hong Xin Contractor
58. Kimly Construction
59. Lam Chuan Construction
60. Leong Hin Seng Civil Engineering
61. Ley Choon Construction and Engineering
62. Qingdao Construction (Singapore)
63. Qingjian International (South Pacific) Group Development
64. Rich Construction Company
65. Samkang Construction
66. Samsung C&T
67. Sato Kogyo (S)
68. Seah Construction
70. TEHC International
71. TSF Building Construction
72. UES Holdings
73. Wee Hur Construction
74. Woh Hup-STEC JV