Two contractors fined $80,000 for flouting regulations, damaging sewer pipes

SINGAPORE - Two contractors have been fined $40,000 each for damaging public sewer pipes, national water agency PUB said in a press release on Friday (Nov 24).

The two separate incidents occurred under a project by Ley Choon Constructions and Engineering to divert existing pipelines for the construction of the future Thomson 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 sewer

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

Contractors working near public sewers have to get the Sewerage Information Plan (SIP) 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, jailed up to three years, or both, PUB said.

Those who damage public sewer pipes with diameters of 900mm or more can be fined up to $200,000, jailed up to two years, or both.

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 in some cases, may lead to sewage leak and environmental pollution."

Since 2014, PUB has taken enforcement action on 26 cases of damage to public sewers at construction sites.