SINGAPORE - Construction company CCECC Singapore was fined $44,000 for damaging a potable water main at a worksite near the junction of Tampines Avenue 5 and Tampines Central 2.
Singapore's water agency PUB said in a statement on Monday (Aug 13) that the damage to the water pipe, which is 30cm in diameter, happened on Nov 3, 2017 and resulted in water overflowing onto the road nearby.
Water supply to four commercial buildings nearby - Tampines Bus Interchange, a food court in Eastlink Mall, Tampines Plaza and the Central Provident Fund service centre - was also disrupted.
As a result of the damage, about 4,000 cubic m of water was lost, enough to fill 1½ Olympic-size swimming pools, the PUB said in the statement.
PUB investigations found that CCECC had been engaged by Hexacon Construction as a sub-contractor to carry out works as part of the construction of an overhead bridge in Tampines Avenue 5.
CCECC did not obtain approval from the PUB before exposing three buried water mains at the worksite, despite having been given a copy of the PUB water mains service plan and a list of guidelines on preventing damage to water mains.
The construction company also failed to provide adequate protection and install proper pipe supports for the exposed water mains, the PUB said. This caused one of the pipes to become dislodged at a joint, resulting in a leak.
The water quickly flooded the worksite trench, which was 19m long, 6.6m wide and 4m deep, and overflowed onto the road.
As this was its first offence, CCECC was fined $42,000 for damaging the water main. Anyone who causes damage to PUB water mains with a diameter of 30cm or more can be fined up to $200,000 and jailed up to three years.
The company was also fined an additional $2,000 for failing to get the PUB's approval before carrying out works.
Under the public utilities regulations for the protection of water pipes infrastructure, the PUB's approval must be sought before specified activities can be carried out within protected areas near water mains.
Anyone who fails to do so can be fined up to $10,000. In the case of a continuing offence, the offender can be further fined up to $250 for each day the offence continues.
Correction note: An earlier version of this article stated that CCECC's $42,000 fine was known as a composition sum. We have since removed that description. We are sorry for the error.