74 construction firms penalised for water pollution in 2017

Construction workers clearing a silt dump at a construction site.
Construction workers clearing a silt dump at a construction site.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

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

2. Samwoh

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

12. Conint

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

50. EKHL

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

69. Soil-Build

70. TEHC International

71. TSF Building Construction

72. UES Holdings

73. Wee Hur Construction

74. Woh Hup-STEC JV