Here are 18 Reservoirs you can visit in Singapore. Many of which have adjoining parks with lots of activities for all ages, some require a longish walk via slightly dodgy paths, and a couple are fenced up and look like old castles which make for an interesting visit. How many of these reservoirs have you heard of, been to, or never knew existed?
Image source: www.pub.gov.sg
1. Bedok Reservoir
Believe it or not, Bedok Reservoir used to be a former sand quarry between 1966 and 1972 and was completed in 1986. It is now open to water sports activities such as wakeboarding, sailing, fishing, canoeing and kayaking. The hill on the west part of Bedok Reservoir is a popular place to fly model gliders. The Bedok Reservoir Park was developed around the picturesque Bedok Reservoir and is equipped with a jogging track, children’s playground, fitness stations and open fields.
2. Fort Canning Reservoir
The Fort Canning Service Reservoir is an underground reservoir located on top of Fort Canning Hill. The reservoir was constructed in 1926 on the former site of a large artillery barracks and parade ground. Before the Fort Canning Service Reservoir was built, a spring gushing from the southwest side of Fort Canning Hill served as an important source of water for centuries.
3. Jurong Lake
Jurong Lake is a 70ha freshwater lake and reservoir formed with the damming of Sungei Jurong further downstream. The lake serves as a reservoir contributing to the water supply of the country. There are several tourist attractions within the Lake, including the Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden.
4. Keppel Hill Reservoir
This abandoned and forgotten reservoir dating back to 1905 is nestled in the Mount Faber forest, and not marked out in maps today, Keppel Hill Reservoir served as a source of water for the Tanjong Pagar Dock Company, which was the forerunner of today’s Port of Singapore Authority. The reservoir, which is an oasis of calm and a green pocket in the built up area, also used to be a swimming pool during the Japanese Occupation according to pre-war and post-war maps. Remnants of a diving board and a bathing area still stand today.
5. Kranji Reservoir
Kranji Reservoir was a former freshwater river that flowed out into the sea that was dammed at its mouth to form a freshwater reservoir. It can also be classified as an estuary. Although known as a place for fishing and picnicking, the Kranji Reservoir Park is a historical site. A war memorial plaque tells visitors of the historical and violent past of this place where the Battle of Kranji took place during World War 2.
6. MacRitchie Reservoir
MacRitchie is Singapore’s oldest reservoir. It was completed in 1868 by impounding water from an earth embankment, and was then known as the Impounding Reservoir or Thomson Reservoir. There are boardwalks skirting the edge of the scenic MacRitchie Reservoir and walking trails through the forest. They range in distances from 3 km to 11 km. Interpretative signboards along the boardwalks allow for a self-guided tour along the fringes of the MacRitchie forest. Also hidden in the forests lie Syonan Jinja, a derelict Japanese WWII Shrine.
7. Marina Reservoir
Built across the mouth of the Marina Channel, the Marina Barrage creates Singapore’s 15th reservoir, and the first in the heart of the city. With a catchment area of 10,000 hectares, or one-sixth the size of Singapore, the Marina catchment is the island’s largest and most urbanised catchment.
8. Murai Reservoir
Murai Reservoir is one of the four reservoirs in the Western Water Catchment of Singapore. It was formerly Sungei Murai, which was dammed in early 1980s, to create a reservoir. It is now part of SAFTI Live Firing Area (North), of which is restricted to civilian military.
9. Pearl’s Hill Reservoir
Pearl’s Hill Reservoir, then known as a ‘High Service Reservoir’, built in 1898 and completed in 1904, with a water storage capacity of 6 million gallons, is still the main source of fresh water supply to Chinatown today.
10. Pandan Reservoir
Formed by damming the mouth of Sungei Pandan, it is the largest service reservoir in Singapore providing non-potable water to the surrounding industrial areas and in particular, the Jurong Industrial Estate. The first ABC Waters project in the West, Pandan Reservoir has been transformed into a vibrant water sports arena housing the National Sports Associations for canoeing, sailing and rowing. Platforms for viewing and fishing, as well as for radio-controlled sailing and electric boating have been built for people to enjoy activities in and around the reservoir too.
11. Lower Peirce Reservoir
Originally known as the Kalang River Reservoir, Singapore’s second reservoir was impounded across the lower reaches of the Kalang River in 1910. In 1922, it was renamed Peirce Reservoir in commendation of the services of Robert Peirce, who was the municipal engineer of Singapore from 1901 to 1916. The Lower Peirce Trail runs through the forest and along the edge of this reservoir. Along this charming 900-metre boardwalk, you’ll be greeted with captivating views of the forest that line the lake as well as a variety of flora and fauna.
12. Upper Peirce Reservoir
The Upper Peirce Reservoir Park is a serene and tranquil park nestled just next to the Upper Peirce Reservoir. Today the Upper Peirce Reservoir Park is a popular retreat with visitors who enjoy its unique pleasant setting and tranquillity. Adding to its scenic beauty is the surrounding secondary forest which was protected as a water catchment area when the reservoir was built.
13. Poyan Reservoir
This reservoir was previously part of Sungei Poyan and its delta, which was dammed to become a reservoir. Apparently there is a way in to the reservoir via a path along the canal behind the muslim cemetery in Choa Chu Kang. However I think it is now part of SAFTI Live Firing Area which has restricted access.
14. Punggol & Serangoon Reservoirs
The Punggol-Serangoon Reservoir Scheme was developed to expand Singapore’s local catchments and enhance the robustness of the country’s water supply. Created by damming the Punggol and Serangoon Rivers in the northeastern part of Singapore, these two new reservoirs, together with the Marina Reservoir has increases the water catchment area from half to two-thirds of Singapore. The opening ceremony was held on 3 July 2011.
15. Sarimbun Reservoir
This reservoir was constructed by damming Sungei Sarimbun and widening of Sungei Karang, Sungei Hantu, and Sungei Sarimbun. It is now part of SAFTI Live Firing Area, which has restricted access. However, the public can cut through from Bahtera Track to enter Sarimbun Reservoir area. The reservoir is near the location of where the first Japanese troops landed on Singapore on 8 February 1942 where they fought against the Australian troops defending Singapore.
16. Tengeh Reservoir
This reservoir was formerly a river, Sungei Tengeh, which emptied into the Straits of Johor and was dammed to become a reservoir in the early 1980s. On 3 November 2011, Public Utilities Board (PUB) and Economic Development Board (EDB) installed floating solar panels (the first of it’s kind) at this reservoir as part of a S$11 million project.
17. Lower Seletar Reservoir
Lower Seletar Reservoir was constructed in 1986 by he damming of Sungei Seletar to form Lower Seletar Reservoir. Its unique feature was the construction of nine stormwater collection stations to tap the storm runoffs of the surrounding urbanised catchments. Lower Seletar Reservoir Park located on the northern shore of the reservoir features a Family Bay with a performance stage, a water play area, a bioswale rain garden, as well as a Heritage Bridge.
18. Upper Seletar Reservoir
The Seletar Reservoir was built in 1920 and officially opened by Her Royal Highness, Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy on 10 August 1969. In 1992, it was renamed as the Upper Seletar Reservoir and became a marked historic site in 1999. While you’re here, remember to check out the Seletar Rocket Tower, a futuristic “space age rocket” was built in Seletar in 1969 – the same year astronauts from the Apollo 11 space flight landed on the moon.
* Other reservoirs not mentioned above include Pulau Tekong Reservoir, Changi Creek Reservoir, Jalan Eunos Service Reservoir, Kallang Service Reservoir, Murnane Service Reservoir, South End Reservoir, Yishun Service Reservoir, which are not accessible to public.