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What are the requirements on vesting of Drainage Reserve?
Any land set aside as Drainage Reserve pursuant to any development proposal shall be vested in the Government, free of all encumbrances, as and when required by PUB. The QP shall forward a copy of the Certified Plan with a clear demarcation of the land set aside for Drainage Reserve to PUB for record. This will facilitate the vesting process when the need arises.
Can the Drainage Reserve be integrated into the proposed development site or the existing premises?
The QP is required to obtain prior approval from URA and also the landowner of the Drainage Reserve (SLA, if the Drainage Reserve is State Land). Once planning approval is granted, the Developer is required to comply with the conditions for use of the Drainage Reserve, as stipulated in the Code of Practice on Surface Water Drainage, and any other conditions imposed by PUB. The integrated Drainage Reserve can be allowed to be used as car parks, driveways and landscaped areas, etc.
Can the developer divert an existing outlet drain with a Drainage Reserve?
The QP is required to obtain approval from URA and also the land owner of the Drainage Reserve (SLA, if the Drainage Reserve is State Land). This should be done prior to submitting details of the proposed drain diversion to PUB for comments on technical requirements and any other conditions which PUB may impose. The QP shall ensure that the proposed drain diversion is technically feasible. The developer shall secure the land for new Drainage Reserve, should his proposal involve additional land.
Can the developer erect buildings over an outlet drain within the Drainage Reserve?
Such a proposal will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. However, prior approval must be obtained from URA before forwarding the proposal to PUB for technical comments.
Will PUB allow temporary use of the Drainage Reserve?
The applicant has to obtain approval from the landowner, e.g. SLA if the Drainage Reserve is State Land. PUB will consider allowing the temporary use of the Drainage Reserve if the proposal does not impede maintenance of the drain within the Drainage Reserve. The applicant shall also be responsible for safety and the physical maintenance of the Drainage Reserve during the period of occupation.
Can I seek waiver from the Minimum Platform Level (MPL) specified by PUB ?
The MPL of a development site, as specified by PUB, is a requirement for minimum ground level of that proposed development. This is to obviate flood risks to the new development. The most effective way to protect new developments from flood risks is to raise the ground levels to meet the MPL.
Waiver for non-compliance with MPL will only be considered under exceptional circumstances and on a case-by-case basis. Any waiver granted for non-compliance with MPL will permanently subject the site to flood risks.
I have a proposal to construct a new underpass linking an existing building to an existing MRT Station. Can I seek waiver for not complying with the required crest protection level for the existing or proposed entrance, exit or opening linking the existing building to the underground MRT system?
All developments with underground linkages to the MRT system shall have the same crest protection requirements as for the MRT system. In such cases, waiver will not be granted, as the MRT system requires a stringent level of protection against flood risks.
Will PUB allow a change of the existing drainage discharge points within the development site?
We have no objection provided the proposal will not significantly alter the existing drainage overland flow pattern of the site and give rise to flooding problems. The QP should avoid diverting flow from one catchment to another, as this may overload an existing drain and result in flooding.
Can the existing box drain be used as an entrance culvert?
We have no objection provided the Professional Engineer (Civil) certifies and endorses in the Detailed Plan that the existing box drain is capable of withstanding vehicular loadings or the intended loadings.
Can the developer divert the existing roadside drain in front of his property?
The developer can divert the roadside drain in front of his property to run within and abutting the current Road Reserve/Road Widening Line if LTA has no objection to the proposal.
Can my client slab-over a short stretch of the open roadside drains in front of his meter compartment, to serve as an access for the meter reader?
Yes. We can allow it provided your client undertakes to maintain the slab-over the drain, the independent supports of the slab and the safety railings and also undertakes to remove them at his own cost, as and when required to do so by the PUB.
Your client also needs to seek approval from URA and the landowner (LTA, SLA etc).
What are PUB's requirements if my client wishes to reconstruct or widen the existing entrance culvert?
The QP should pre-consult PUB, on the required size of the entrance culvert and to check whether the proposed work is affected by PUB's current drainage projects for the Improvement to Roadside Drains (IRDP) and Estate Upgrading Programmes (EUP). If the entrance culvert in front of the property is to be rebuilt under either IRDP or EUP, PUB will rebuild them according to the engineering details as shown in PUB's contract drawings and also PUB's work schedule. The QP is required to liaise with PUB to co-ordinate the work.
Can my client fence in the common drain at the rear of his property?
The owner needs to obtain clearance from NEA's Environmental Health Department (EHD),as the cleansing maintenance of common drains comes under its purview. URA's approval is also required.
Are common drains allowed for new housing developments?
PUB discourages common drains for new land developments as inconsiderate littering in common drains can give rise to disputes among neighbours. PUB will only allow common drains in new land developments where there are constraints due to site topography.
Will PUB allow the use of a conduit drain instead of a 450mm wide drain for common drains?
PUB can allow this if the conduit drain has an equivalent discharge capacity to that of the 450mm wide drain. However, the conduit drain must be provided with the proper foundations to prevent settlement.
Will PUB allow utility services to be laid across a drain?
Services shall be laid undercrossing drains with the required clearances as given in the Current Code of Practice on Surface Water Drainage. Where Services Departments have strong reasons for not undercrossing the drain, the QP may apply for the services to be laid across the drain. The QP's application shall attach the letter from the Services Department giving the reason and also the letter of undertaking from the Services Department to remove the services at their own cost when required by PUB. PUB can consider allowing utility services to be laid crossing a drain if the proposal will not affect the conveyance capacity and impede the maintenance of the drain. We can allow services to be embedded within the top slab of the drain provided the thickening of the top slab does not exceed 10% of the original depth of the drain. The utility services shall be laid in compliance with the requirements specified by PUB.
Can my client build ornamental ponds or ponds to collect rain water for gardening and washing of the building premises?
PUB allows rainwater collection for non-potable use in one’s own premise. For more information, please refer to
What are the DOs and DON'Ts on working in the vicinity of drain/drainage reserve?
1. Do comply with the requirements in the Code of Practice on Surface Water Drainage for services to be laid in the vicinity of drain/drainage reserve.
2. Do liaise with 3P Network Department, PUB if in doubt.
1. Don't build structures over drains without first consulting and obtaining approval from PUB's 3P Network Department.
2. Don't build structures inside drains which can impede flow.
What are the DOs and DON'Ts on working in the vicinity of watermains?
1. Do write in to PUB, Water Supply (Network) Dept for the latest watermains plans.
2. Do dig trial holes to identify the exact location of existing watermains.
3. Do use manual excavation especially near watermains.
4. Do use pipe locators with the assistance of valve chambers and hydrants to identify the location of existing watermains.
5. Do consult PUB, Water Supply (Network) Dept on the location of the existing watermains if you are unable to locate them.
6. Do lay services such as cables and pipes with a separation distance of 500mm from existing watermains.
7. Do have proper protection for our existing watermains during excavation (PE certification on design of supporting existing watermains is required).
1. Don't allow heavy machinery to move over PUB watermains without adequate protection (e.g. steel plate).
2. Don't use an excavator for trial holes to locate the existing watermains.
3. Don't lay sewer pipes on top of our existing watermains.
4. Don't construct any structures on top of our existing watermains.
5. Don't allow our valve chambers to be covered over with construction debris especially at worksites.
(Is this a Do, a Don't, or...?) Contact PUB, Water Supply (Network) Dept for PUB valve chambers at worksites to be raised to prevent them from accidentally being covered over.
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Last Updated: 17 June 2013
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