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Chin Hui Shan
The Straits Times
May 2, 2023
After more than two months of renovation works, Ms Anita Rahim was looking forward to moving into her new flat, but two days before she was supposed to move in, a burst pipe left her home covered in brown mud.
Ms Anita, 45, was putting the finishing touches to her 4-room flat on Monday together with her husband and three children, when murky, brown water began gushing out from the drains of her kitchen and toilets at about 1pm.
“I heard the sound of rain and I thought it was raining, but I realised it was not,” said Ms Anita, a secretary.
“The water first started flowing out slow and then gushed out of the house like a waterfall later.”
The burst pipe left her new home caked in a thick layer of mud, causing damage to the flooring, furniture and electronics. Ms Anita said the damages could chalk up to about $80,000, noting that she had forked out $100,000 for the renovation and new furniture.
“Some of the furniture like the sofa and study tables just arrived a few days ago, but they are all spoiled now,” she said.
National water agency PUB said it was alerted to a pipe leak at Yishun Avenue 6 which left a ground floor unit “flooded with silty water” at about 1.20pm.
It dispatched its service crew and contractor immediately for urgent repairs, which also caused the water supply to be disrupted to some units for about two hours, said a PUB spokesman.
“During this period, a water wagon was deployed to provide temporary supply to affected residents,” he said. Some 20 units on the lower levels were affected by the water supply disruption.
Ms Anita said the water only stopped flowing out of her drains at about 4pm, almost three hours after it first started.
“My son kept asking me if incidents like this will happen again. I hope the authorities will see how important it is to check on the maintenance of all these (infrastructure),” she said.
“When I woke up this morning, I wished that it was just a nightmare but it wasn’t. It was reality.”
The PUB spokesman said: “Our contractor worked with the Nee Soon Town Council to clean up the affected unit. We regret the inconvenience caused, and are in contact with the owner to provide assistance.”
Nee Soon GRC MP Derrick Goh told The Straits Times that the burst pipe is under PUB’s purview and that it is investigating the incident.
“The Yishun HDB branch will look for an interim flat for the family to settle into, should the fix require more time to resolve the current situation,” he said.
Grassroots volunteers of Yishun Clover Residents’ Committee have also offered to store some of the affected family’s furniture during this period, said Mr Goh in a Facebook post.
“We will know in due course the root cause should the fault lie with an agency, I will be helping the family pursue claims arising from damaged property,” he said.