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The New Paper
April 27, 2023
A family living in a Bukit Panjang condominium has had to endure sewage water flooding their apartment after the pipes got clogged.
The first time the problem surfaced was on Feb 1, said the 61-year-old owner, surnamed Li, who has been living with his mother and sister at the unit for the past seven years.
That day, sewage water began flowing out of the toilet drain for some 12 hours, Li said.
When he reported the matter to the condo management, he said he was told to find a plumber on his own.
Speaking to Shin Min Daily News, Li said that three plumbers had actually declined the job when they saw the extent of the damage and the ensuing mess.
When one plumber accepted the job, he found that the problem couldn’t simply be solved by unclogging the drain.
The issue, it seemed, originated from the external water pipes connected to the drain, so they had to contact the condominium to get the building's blueprints.
As Li's unit was located at the end of the building, his gutter became the exit point for the sewage that was stuck, he was told.
As a result of the clogging and flooding, a foul smell permeated the house, while the wooden flooring sustained water damage.
Li’s mother, who is in her 80s, had to sleep on the balcony, on a makeshift bed assembled from chairs.
A month later, the unit got flooded again. Water had overflowed from the toilet and kitchen into the rooms and living room.
This time, the family got up and left.
They moved into a service apartment while the plumber was called in again.
As Li's mother was not used to the new surroundings, she fell out of her bed one night and was admitted to the hospital, Li said.
"It doesn't matter if my sister and I suffer a little, but my mother has been a little depressed these past two months," he added.
Though the second mishap was resolved after two days, damages still linger.
Li said the walls of his apartment are now water-stained, and there are also concerns about the lingering smell of sewage and hygiene issues.
As the home has wooden flooring, the wooden boards have become warped because of the water. The moisture has caused some of the boards to become fragile and they break when stepped on.
The damage and inconvenience have cost Li around $50,000 so far, he said.