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Featured Stories

 
 
13 November 2018

Saving Water Starts from Young

Saving water starts from young” — a message that Perlin, a mother of three, strongly believes in. 

“Having been through water rationing during my younger days, I can better relate to the need to conserve water and use water wisely,” said Perlin. She also highlighted the importance to educate our younger generations on the sources of Singapore’s water supply, so that they would better value water, our precious resource.  

Interestingly, one tip that Perlin uses to advocate water-saving among her family and friends is through ‘CRM’ — Conserving, Reusing, Monitoring.  “Firstly, conserving every drop of water by reusing water, for instance, leftover water from washing of rice and clothes can be used to water plants and wash toilets respectively. Next, monitoring the water consumption chart on your water bill and setting a target to motivate your family to reduce the average water consumption for the next month,” shared Perlin.   

PUB Household Water Saving PUB Household Water Saving

Ms Wee, Perlin’s eldest daughter, added that since young, her mother would often remind them to diligently practise water conservation, be it at home or in school. 

Noting that Singapore has reduced the daily household water consumption from 160 litres to 143 litres per person over the decade, she commented that, “as long as every Singaporean has a common goal in mind — to use water responsibly and save water conscientiously — Singapore can definitely achieve the new target of 130 litres within the next decade.” 

By Jerome Goh

5 November 2018

Saving Water with Chong Family

Over the years, Singapore’s Litres per Capita per Day (LPCD) has improved. With everyone’s efforts, our daily water consumption has dropped to a low of 143 litres per person in 2017. Believing that there is room for Singaporeans to be more water-efficient, we have now set a new target of 130 litres by 2030.

The Chong family is one such household that proactively adopts water conservation habits at home. Led by Mrs Chong, the water heroine in the house, the family diligently practices the five water-saving habits such as taking shorter showers and washing dishes in a container. On top of these, Mrs Chong conscientiously reuses water from washing clothes and dishes for other household chores such as washing the toilet, mopping the floor and watering plants.

Household SaveWater  

Household SaveWater 

The mother of two even goes the extra mile by setting a target for her family to reduce their monthly household water usage.

Indeed, the Chong family’s efforts have seen remarkable results. Over a span of six months, the family has managed to reduce their average household water consumption from 133 litres to 82.5 litres per person per day. 

On her achievements, Mrs Chong feels there is nothing difficult about saving water, just a little effort on everyone’s part to be more conscious about how water is used. “There are lots of ways you can conserve water around the home. Water conservation stickers can even be placed in the bathroom and kitchen to remind everyone to save water. Everyone can make a difference by saving water, little by little, in your everyday lives,” added Mrs Chong.

On the new household water consumption target of 130 litres per person per day, Mrs Chong has this to share, “I believe the new target can be achieved as long as the community is committed to adopt water-saving habits in their daily lives. Together, we can do it!”

Household SaveWater  

By Jerome Goh

31 October 2018

Our Water Heroes: Khairil Anwar Makktom

Water Heroes Khairil 

As the Deputy General Manager of Marina Barrage, Khairil Anwar Makktom has come a long way since joining PUB 12 years ago. He started off as an engineer managing the construction of sewers, water pipes and drainage infrastructure, before being posted to Marina Barrage in 2011 as the engineer in charge of Barrage Operations, overseeing flood control and general safety and security at Marina Barrage.

His daily work focuses on three key areas – the 24/7 flood control function of the Barrage in ensuring the safe and timely flood control operations with a team of shift officers, the rigorous maintenance of flood control equipment with a team of dedicated maintenance officers, and the upkeep of the Marina Reservoir with the maintenance team to ensure it stays clean as a source of water supply and look after the safety of its activity users. Khairil explains that in order to perform these tasks efficiently, very tight coordination and integration with the various teams at Marina Barrage is needed.

Since its inception as Singapore’s fifteenth reservoir, Marina Barrage serves three different roles and functions. Primarily, the Barrage’s function is to provide 24/7 flood control to alleviate flooding in low-lying city areas. By means of its nine identical crest gates and seven giant pumps, the Barrage manages rainfall from its 10,000 ha catchment area to minimise potential flooding. When it rains heavily during low tide, the crest gates can be opened to release excess storm water into the sea. However, when it rains heavily during high tide, the drainage pumps will be activated instead to pump the water out.

Other than serving as a flood control facility, Marina Reservoir at the Barrage also provides a source of water supply, increasing Singapore’s water catchment from half to two-thirds of the island’s land area. Lastly, the strategic waterfront location also makes the Barrage and its reservoir an ideal venue for various recreational activities from kite-flying to water activities such as kayaking, sailing and dragon boating all year round.

On the challenges faced throughout the 7 years in his job, Khairil shares that as the Barrage is a 24/7 operational flood control facility, there is a constant need to be alert and respond timely to weather changes all the time. Being the first reservoir in Singapore’s city centre, it is the most densely populated and urbanised catchment, and hence keeping the reservoir clean is also no mean feat. “We need to constantly remind everyone not to pollute drains, canals and waterways. There are still many who are not aware that any litter thrown on the ground can be washed into our waterways during rain. A drain choked with litter may not only result in flash floods (as the water cannot be drained away fast enough), but can also lead to a reservoir filled with garbage if the litter is not trapped upstream or cleaned up in time. As the Marina Reservoir is a popular water spot for various water and recreational activities, driving home this point is all the more important. “says Khairil

Noting that the Marina Barrage is a popular spot for visitors, Khairil explains that other than technical skills, his team also has to learn how to manage large crowds especially in the weekends, holidays or when there are events. To improve service standards, Khairil and his team has also been leveraging on technology such as deploying more sensors to understand visitor patterns, as well as more CCTVs and higher visibility signages throughout the facility.

The Marina Barrage was officially opened on 31 October 2008, and has welcomed over 16 million people since then. Khairil personally thinks that “many people are drawn to Marina Barrage’s unique combination of educational and recreational features. Marina Barrage is really a showcase of urban water management and environmental sustainability. Besides learning how this mammoth facility help to prevent floods and create a freshwater reservoir for water supply, at the Sustainable Singapore Gallery, they also gain a holistic picture of how Singapore is coping with climate change and developing as an environmentally sustainable city. It is also a great lifestyle attraction, and the green roof is one of the best spots in town to take in our stunning city skyline – all these while having picnics, flying kites or simply relaxing on the green roof.”

By Jaslynn Yeo


31 October 2018

Our Water Heroes: Winnie Tan

Winnie Tan 

Having joined the Marina Barrage team since its opening in 2008, Winnie Tan is no stranger to the events that happen around the barrage. Over the years, Marina Barrage evolved to become a popular lifestyle attraction, drawing crowds of locals and tourists in hordes.

One challenge that her team faced was the need to balance public needs and engineering demands. As a water facility, there was a need to keep the area safe and secure. However, as Marina Barrage was also a lifestyle attraction, this meant that it had to remain accessible to the public too. After several trial and errors, Winnie and her team managed to fine-tune processes on public engagement, and made use of technologies to reduce public inconvenience as much as possible.

Winnie shares that the most fulfilling part of her job is to be able to impart knowledge on Singapore’s water story to the world and create lasting memories for people. One of the most memorable event for Winnie would be hosting high level foreign delegates visiting the Barrage, such as former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon. Winnie also fondly recalls the first National Day Celebrations at the Barrage, and the SG50 performance by the Black Knights that caused a traffic standstill on the roads leading to the Barrage.

As the Senior Manager where she overlooks events, facility maintenance and visitor experience, Winnie has great aspirations for the Marina Barrage. With the launch of the newly revamped Sustainable Singapore Gallery, Winnie believes that it will be one of the many methods to reach out to the next generation on the topic of sustainability, and inculcate a greater appreciation for Singapore’s water ecosystem and infrastructure.

“Through the programmes and events that we have organised, I hope people visiting the Barrage can understand its three benefits – Flood Control, Water Supply and Lifestyle, and more importantly, that they too have a role to play in Singapore’s sustainability story.”

By Jaslynn Yeo


27 October 2018

Marina Barrage’s 10th Anniversary Finale Bash

Marina Barrage hosted its biggest-ever carnival from 26 to 28 October — to mark the finale of its 10th Anniversary celebrations.

Guest-of-Honour, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean, and Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli also unveiled the Marina Barrage’s 10th Anniversary commemorative art piece at the finale celebrations on 27 October evening.

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The three-day carnival saw a gathering of more than 100 stalls featuring arts and crafts, up-cycling activities, performances such as the LED water percussion, a sand art video show by artist Stacey Lee and a fireworks display. Visitors also enjoyed a specially-curated free boat cruise rides along the Marina waters, which brought them closer to water where they could learn more about Marina Barrage and the Marina Reservoir.

  

 

This grand finale culminates a year-long celebration, which saw the iconic venue hosted ten events and festivities, which include “Behind the Scene” exhibitions, tours for engineering students from five polytechnics, and flagship events such as Singapore Kite Day and RSAF50@Marina Barrage.

By Jerome Goh


4 October 2018

Our Water Heroes: Ng Rui Qiang

RuiQiang  

As a Civil Engineering graduate, Ng Rui Qiang always had an interest in buildings and structures. To Rui Qiang, cities are “just like the human body, where utility services are the veins and arteries and buildings are the muscles and bones.”

Rui Qiang was part of the team involved in the construction of the Stamford Diversion Canal (SDC) and Stamford Detention Tank (SDT). These major drainage projects are examples of how PUB look for practical solutions to solve our drainage problems.

Unlike typical drainage construction projects, the SDC cannot be constructed using conventional method of cut and cover as it is sited in a densely built-up area. It was also not feasible to divert the roads and utility services for the construction due to the space constraint. To solve this problem, a tunnel boring machine was used to construct a pair of 1km long shallow tunnels that weave underground while maintaining free-flowing traffic on the roads above.

SDC Tunnelling  

Tunnel Boring Machine

SDC-Tunnelling-04 

Engineers inside the Tunnel Boring Machine preparing to install tunnel segments

The SDC tunnels are one of the shallowest large diameter tunnels in Singapore, with some areas a mere four metres underground. Constructing such shallow tunnels meant that engineers such as Rui Qiang and site supervision staff had to keep close monitoring of the work to ensure the tunnel parameters are maintained while tunnelling works proceed 24/7. 

“Technology enabled us to monitor live readings of the tunnelling parameters closely through any internet device. This allow us to be aware of potential dangers and resolve any issues that may arise quickly,” shared Rui Qiang.

RuiQiang-Zaki  

Rui Qiang and engineer inspecting ongoing works inside the Stamford Diversion Canal

Minister Masagos  

Rui Qiang and engineer inspecting ongoing works inside the Stamford Diversion Canal

With the completion of the SDC, excess stormwater can be diverted to the Singapore River and away from the existing Stamford Canal along Orchard Road. This enhances flood protection in the Orchard Road Area.

Rui Qiang shares that the greatest takeaway from this project was knowing that “every time we experience intense rain in the Orchard area, we know that the SDC and SDT are working to keep flooding at bay.”

By Jaslynn Yeo

4 October 2018

Our Water Heroes: Ahmad Zaki Bin Salleh

SDC 

Senior Engineer Ahmad Zaki Bin Salleh was one of the key engineers involved in the process of planning and construction of the Stamford Detention Tank (SDT) and the Stamford Diversion Canal (SDC). The SDT and SDC are two major drainage projects that were officially opened by Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, at a ceremony held on 28 Sep.

Ahmad Zaki is glad to have played a part in the completion of these two drainage projects that were designed to enhance flood protection in the Orchard Road areas. As an Environmental Engineering graduate, Ahmad Zaki was always fascinated with how engineers can change or control the environment to make them habitable. Joining the Drainage Construction division has allowed him to pursue his interest in building stormwater structures, and now he has completed two massive stormwater structures.

SDC 

Progress discussion on the construction of Stamford Diversion Canal

SDC 

Ahmad Zaki and his colleague monitoring the construction works in Stamford Diversion Canal

Constructing the SDT was not an easy task, shared Ahmad Zaki. During the process of excavation, the team of engineers encountered rocks which could not be removed with an excavator and breaker. Proceeding with works was challenging as there were a lot of factors to consider.

"The use of explosives to blast the hard rocks risk sudden soil settlement that could have affected the structural integrity of nearby buildings. We had to ensure that the necessary onsite measures such as instrumentation monitoring and sufficient soil overburden, as well as protective explosive blankets, were put in place to maintain the structural integrity of nearby buildings and the detention tank. The entire process took about 3 months to prepare and the blasting took 2 weeks to complete," shared Ahmad Zaki.

One other challenge that Ahmad Zaki and his team faced was the fact that they were working in very close proximity to other agencies' construction works such as the ongoing Thomson East Coast Line. "As a portion of our tunnelling works were criss-crossing with LTA's tunnels, in order to overcome this, close coordination and monitoring were required with LTA and their contractors on this."

Ahmad Zaki also shared that the team implemented top down construction method to excavate approximately 130,000 cubic metres of soil to construct the detention tank. This method of construction allowed coach buses and cars to travel above while works are ongoing underground. 

SDC 

Base level of Stamford Detention Tank 

 

Ahmad Zaki and his colleague inspecting the Stamford Detention pumps pipes

Despite of all of the challenges, Ahmad Zaki said "seeing the end result made everything worth it." On what he enjoys most about these projects, Ahmad Zaki shared that "it is most satisfying to be able to see storm-water entering both the completed Stamford Diversion Canal and Stamford Detention Tank. The culmination of efforts from PUB project team and our Partners who has worked tirelessly over the period of 4 years should also not be understated. Also, I feel proud of the work that we do in PUB with the holistic Source, Pathway and Receptor approach to improve the drainage system in Singapore. With these two solutions (SDC & SDT), our famous shopping belt Orchard Road are better protected against floods."

By Jaslynn Yeo