Water woes at Waterford

Below excerpt from CNA (www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/everrise-maintenance-fined-water-contamination-waterford-13854128)

A contractor has been fined S$8,500 for failing to ensure that a licensed plumber was conducting regulated works at a private condominium along Kim Yan Road, causing contamination to water supply… at Waterford Residence.”

Investigations revealed Everrise Maintenance, a local contractor the managing agent had hired for the condo, was tasked to carry out repair work after a crack line measuring approximately 10cm was found on the external surface of a water tank cover during a PUB site inspection. 

“Such repair works are regulated works that should be carried out by a licensed plumber or by workers under the direct supervision of one,” said PUB. Instead of hiring a licensed plumber, Everrise instructed its workers to patch up the crack line without proper instructions.

Not sure if MA selected the lowest quote amongst contractors. Clearly there are certain redlines to cost savings.

Under the Public Utilities Act, causing contamination to water supplied by PUB carries a maximum fine of S$50,000. Failure to ensure that regulated works are carried out by a licensed plumber carries a maximum fine of S$10,000.

Rain rain go away

Usually we use the phrase ‘to save for a rainy day’. Everyone knows a bad time will come, so we put something aside for this future need. Well, the idea is similar for fixing water leaks. Only the execution is quite the inverse. On sunny days we fix the roof. On rainy months like now till Feb-Mar 2021, we save up.

This time of the year, Singapore is experiencing the monsoon season of rainy days. But it may last longer than usual due to the following event.

“La Nina-like conditions have descended upon the Southeast Asia region since August 2020, with further cooling in September, according to Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS). These conditions include changes in the sea surface temperature, cloudiness, and winds over the tropical Pacific Ocean. MSS’s models are predicting La Niña conditions to last through to March 2021Mothership.sg

A number of condos with roof leaks are now stuck in a limbo. Firstly the covid-induced circuit breaker disrupted the construction industry. Many contractors are working on backlog jobs with lesser workers from Malaysia, and a higher cost structure.

Secondly, the La Nina daily showers of rain inhibits worktime on roof. It also prevents any waterproofing substrate from bonding perfectly and creating a long lasting tight seal (requires a minimum of 24- 48 hours of dry conditions). Most substrates can still bond in wet conditions, but instead of lasting 15 years, it’s lifespan will be compromised.

As such, both factors escalate the cost.

Here comes the limbo within the MCST. The top floor units and those affected by water leaks face the agony every time it rains. Seems like a few months till sunny days ahead. Logic gets cast aside and they will vote for an immediate repair, no matter the costs.

Needless to say, those units unaffected by leaks will reject the use of funds. Or at least wait till sunnier days when the cost is lower, and the lifespan of repairs can meet a minimum number of years ideally. The majority will fall in this category.

Meanwhile we pray for the rain to go away, for happier neighbors make a neighborhood livable and pleasant. Rain rain please go away.

‘Normally I’d be optimistic that we could work out a little problem like this.’

Owners responsible for upkeep of buildings, says BCA

When the air ventilation system collapsed across several rows of seats at Shaw cinema in NEX, two were injured and sent to the hospital. One had to be carried on a stretcher (seemingly unconscious). The other was conscious but seen lying on the floor clutching her head. George Yang of Goodyfeed remarked if not for social-distancing measures, someone may have lost his life. Indeed, just look at how many seats are covered from the picture below. (See more pics here)

Definitely no small piece~ Even an iPad hitting one’s head from such a height would have caused much pain.

Water that had collected in an air-conditioning and mechanical ventilation duct likely caused the structure to crash during a movie screening earlier this year, Minister Desmond Lee said

While the maintenance of air-conditioning mechanical ventilation (ACMV) ducts within buildings is not subject to regulatory requirements, the BCA spokesman told Straits Times that “building owners are responsible for the maintenance of their buildings, by ensuring that all parts of their buildings are maintained in a state of good and serviceable condition”. (https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/owners-responsible-for-upkeep-of-buildings-says-bca)

The unfortunate event is a stark reminder to many building owners. This includes some condos who have been turning a blind eye to overdue maintenance and replacement. My other Council member tells me one mixed development mall in Bukit Timah has repeatedly failed their air quality inspections and fire safety. To rectify and replace the core installations would cost $3-$5 million. I wonder if discussions are revived at their Council meetings.

It doesn’t matter if your MCST council choose to turn a blind eye, while the minority who insisted on doing right gets outvoted. When shit hits the fence, collectively all owners are responsible. Safety should never be compromised.

If your sinking funds are wafer thin, there are only two safe options.

1. Get all owners to agree to top-up from their own pockets. (Easier said than done?)

2. Shutdown the facility.

Decide quickly on which of the two before bickering over “How did we get to this?”. Matter of fact, you should have asked Is our condo running out of funds?” years ago. Read on about the poorly managed “Tyre Pancit” condo.

Condo resident asks MA for transparency on facebook

A resident took to facebook group MCST and posted the following.

To which a few others replied…

I assume every seven years the residents re-accumulate the equivalent of 60% of their existing Sinking fund. Sounds like one of the following.

1. The condo has very few things to maintain, except for painting. 2. Condo is running out of funds after the paint job. (see previous post)

If only more residents start attending AGMs/ EOGMs, asking the right questions (“not the second parking lot”). Then will the prudent decisions be made.

As to Fand’s question about how an AGM can be conducted without sufficient owners. A quick reference to BCA will show you the criterion. See screenshot below.