74 contractors penalised in 2017 for discharging silty water: PUB

Channel NewsAsia 26 Dec 17;

SINGAPORE: A total of 74 civil and building contractors have been penalised so far this year for discharging silty water into the waterways, as well as not providing adequate Earth Control Measures (ECM) at their sites, PUB said on Tuesday (Dec 26).

Silty water is generated when rainwater run-off mixes with exposed earth materials and soil at construction site. Contractors are required to implement measures at their sites to remove silt before the water is discharged into public drains.

"Silt, if not removed from construction discharge, will build up in the waterways," said PUB in its press release. "This will affect waterway's effectiveness in channeling stormwater flow and also the environmental aesthetics."

Huationg Contractor was fined S$13,500 in total for four ECM offences, and Samwoh Corporation had to pay up S$10,500 for three violations.

Two other companies convicted - Peng Chuan Engineering Construction and Stallion Development - carried out works that could lead to the discharge of silty water without obtaining a clearance certificate from PUB. They were made to pay S$7,800 and S$7,000 in fines respectively.

PUB's chief engineer for drainage operations Choy Wai Kwong, said everyone has a part to play in keeping the waterways clean.

"Two-thirds of Singapore is water catchment. Silty discharge into the drains and canals will result in accumulation of sediments and affect drainage capacity," said Mr Choy as quoted in the release.

74 construction firms penalised for water pollution this year
Ng Jun Sen Straits Times 27 Dec 17;

A total of 74 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 yesterday.

While this is below the past three years' average of 100 enforcement actions each year, the agency said these errant practices can harm the environment.

Where there are excavation-type activities, known as earthworks, rain can mix with exposed earth and soil, creating a silty run-off which enters drainage systems and water bodies.

This causes an accumulation of sediment in the waterways, which reduces drainage capacity.

Currently, there are about 1,000 construction sites involved in earthworks.

Of the 74 companies cited, 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.

It 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 PUB's clearance certificate.

Meanwhile, Samwoh was penalised twice for 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, as well as for not complying with a PUB notice to review its earth control measures.

Two other companies, Peng Chuan Engineering Construction and Stallion Development, were found to have carried out works without a clearance certificate from PUB.

This could lead to silty water being discharged into the drainage systems, said 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 (ECM).

Depending on the stage of construction work and size of earthworks, these checks can range from fortnightly to once every two months.

PUB's chief engineer of drainage operations Choy Wai Kwong said: "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 Asso-ciation 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.