Sewage pipe explosion at Punggol flat: 'Impossible to pinpoint source of blockage'

The flooding was possibly caused by a massive build-up within the main pipes of the building, said plumbing expert David Chi.

Mr Chi, who has over 30 years of experience in the plumbing industry, told The New Paper: "It is impossible to pinpoint the source of the blockage - it can be from renovation or construction."

The 53-year-old added that piping issues can affect either a specific unit or an entire block.

Pipe blockages in new buildings can also be due to construction debris build-up and not just human waste.

Mr Chi also said that the lower floors are where the main pipes end, increasing the risk of blockages.

"Blockages are fairly common within HDB buildings and can occur anytime, even after years," he explained.

Another plumber, who wanted to be known only as Mr Daniel, said that frequent checks have to be done during construction or renovation to prevent such problems.

But Mr Chi said there is no surefire way of avoiding such incidents. "As long as something chokes the pipes, there will be a high possibility of flooding."

This article was first published on May 13, 2015.
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