Condo fined $2,000 for not repairing pipe that leaked enough water to fill 1½ Olympic-size pools

The management of Nicon Gardens condominium was instructed to fix the leak immediately to stem the water wastage, and PUB provided a list of licensed plumbers for them to consider.
The management of Nicon Gardens condominium was instructed to fix the leak immediately to stem the water wastage, and PUB provided a list of licensed plumbers for them to consider.PHOTO: GOOGLE MAPS

SINGAPORE - The management of Nicon Gardens condominium was fined $2,000 for failing to repair a service pipe despite notices, national water agency PUB said in a statement on Wednesday (July 18).

The pipe leaked for about four days, resulting in 4,000 cubic m of water being lost. This is enough to fill 1½ Olympic-size swimming pools, and is four times the Choa Chu Kang condominium's average monthly usage.

PUB said that it received feedback from the public about the water leakage on June 28. Investigations found that the leak came from an underground service pipe maintained by the condominium management.

The management was instructed to fix the leak immediately to stem the water wastage, and PUB provided a list of licensed plumbers for them to consider.

Despite a total of three notices to do so, the management only carried out the repairs on July 2, four days after the leak was first reported.

Mr Ridzuan Ismail, director of PUB's water supply department, said in the statement: "We find such deliberate water wastage unacceptable. Nicon Gardens' failure to act quickly in this instance has led to a large amount of water wastage. Nicon Gardens wasted four months' worth of water in just four days due to its inaction."

Failure to comply with a PUB notice to repair a water installation is an offence, PUB said. As it was Nicon Gardens' first offence, PUB issued a fine, known as a composition sum, of $2,000.

 

The management could have been fined up to $10,000 and jailed for up to a year.

In a statement to ST on July 22, Mr M J Pillai, chairman of the management council of Nicon Gardens, said that the management detected the leak on the night of June 28 and informed PUB immediately. 

He added that the management will bear the cost of the wasted water, but questioned the inaction on PUB’s part in helping to repair the leak. He also objected to Mr Ridzuan’s suggestion that the water wastage was “deliberate”. 

Mr Pillai said: “The priority and goal of PUB should always be to find the quickest and most efficient and effective way of stopping the water wastage, regardless where the leak originates from.

“Unfortunately, PUB was not proactive and positive in their approach in the Nicon Gardens episode which resulted in the massive water loss, and thus bears as much, if not more blame, than the Estate for the same.”