Singapore is a country known for its clean and neat city look. One of the reasons for this is because the city planners have buried all our water, electricity and service pipelines underground, allowing our small country better use of our scarce land area while removing the cluttered look of on-ground pipelines. However, every plan has a flip side, and in Singapore’s case, each time pipes need to be replaced or added, we need to dig up our roads before works can commence.
At the airport, such works require a whole different magnitude of considerations and pre-planning due to the need to ensure minimal disruptions to operations.
When Changi’s fire hydrant system was due for replacement in 2019, the Engineering and Development (EDG) project team decided to explore different technology options available, and eventually worked with a vendor to redesign pipes originally built to withstand earthquakes, for the airports' use. With this, we could extend the lifespan of our pipelines from the standard 30 - 40 years, to much longer. A longer pipe lifespan is particularly important for the airport, as our fire hydrant pipeline runs near to the runway and roadway crossing areas, so replacement works have a direct impact on flight operations.