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PUB and Liat Towers "ponding" over brown water

(Update: In an article at Today, PUB highlighted that the rain on Dec 23 "caused some parts of Stamford Canal to be full" and "At Liat Towers, rainwater that drained off from the roof and the back area of the building overflowed into the basement area from an internal drain, as the water could not be discharged into the canal, which was full". Read article here.

The recent "ponding" at Liat Towers in Orchard Road has turned into a finger pointing match between the building's management and Public Utilities Board. However, a Facebook user spotted the colour of the "ponding" which immediately resolves all blame to one party.

Wrote The Straits Times,

A spokesman for the management of the shopping and office block, speaking to The Straits Times following a meeting with PUB, pinned the blame on an over-full Stamford Canal.
PUB, on the other hand, is adamant that the build-up of water came from the heavy rain and the building not pumping out the water fast enough.
A Facebook user, however, spotted that water is brown colour which could only mean one thing.
Wrote the Facebook user,
Just look at the pictures. It's muddy brown water. If it's ponding water, it shouldn't be brown. Means that water came from the drains. It's backflow from the flooded canals.
One has to wonder if the blame will now be on Starbucks for turning the "ponding" brown because of their coffee beans.

See picture of "ponding" at


Anonymous said…
The term ponding can actually be helpful towards finding a proper solution. It is a recognition of the fact that there are in fact many geographical depressions throughout the surface area of Singapore that will collect water when it rains.

The present flooding may be because, hitherto, the water authorities and development agencies (URA) have not recognized this factor and therefore not taken it into account in their development and drainage plans. That is perhaps the main reason why they have NOT taken into account the 'flooding', actually ponding, that can happen when rainwater run off can no longer be absorbed into the ground or channeled away fast enough by the existing drainage system which has proven to be inadequate to the task when the new 'norm' is for rainfall to be much more heavy than previously.

The flash flooding as we know it now may be attributed to AND AGGRAVATED by the virtually complete 'sealing' of the ground surfaces (on to which rain must fall) brought about by the intensively build-up environment that is the Orchard shopping and tourist belt and the roads serving the area. Imagine all the rain surface run off water is now being almost fully 'channeled' by the roads to the nearest low lying basin (instead of/as opposed to being at least partially absorbed into some nearby open ground)!

The Orchard Road and its vicinity is where practically ever square metre of surface is either sealed by building structures or road surfaces. Ponding occurs due to the natural geography of the area, e.g. the Scotts Rd-Orchard Rd-Paterson Rd junction is in fact a low depression (hence ponding) relative to the surround areas. To solve the problem some serious drainage engineering studies should be conducted and viable solutions 'flowing' from the studies implemented. Stop gap measures like the mechanical 'reversed moat' or 'dike' concept adopted by some Liat Towers businesses just would not work.

More details can be found at:

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