Bedok Reservoir



Bedok Reservoir, located off Reservoir Road in Bedok, was one of the two reservoirs built by the Public Utilities Board (PUB) as part of its Sungei Seletar/Bedok Water Scheme.1 Construction work for the scheme began in 1983 and was completed in 1986 at a cost of S$277 million.2 The reservoir has a surface area of 88 ha.3

Background
The Sungei Seletar/Bedok Water Scheme was initiated primarily to meet the increasing demand for fresh water in the eastern parts of Singapore.4 Under this scheme, storm water collected from urban catchments would be the main source of raw water, unlike earlier water schemes.5


Planning work began as early as 10 to 15 years before actual construction. This included putting land-use guidelines in place to protect the designated catchment areas from activities, such as farming, that could pollute the reservoir basin.6

The scheme encompasses two reservoirs, a water treatment plant and nine storm water collection stations. A dam was built across the mouth of Sungei Seletar to form the Sungei Seletar Reservoir (now called Lower Seletar Reservoir). At the same time, a large sand quarry, formerly used by the Housing and Development Board, was converted into the Bedok Reservoir.7

Bedok Reservoir was designed as a collection point for storm water gathered from nine catchment areas in Bedok, Tampines and Yan Kit. Eight of these catchments were equipped with a collection pond and a pumping station to pump storm water from the pond into the reservoir via a pipeline. Water from the ninth catchment was transferred to the reservoir through a gravity-flow diversion channel.8

A water treatment plant, Bedok Waterworks, was built about 400 m west of Bedok Reservoir to treat the water from Sungei Seletar Reservoir and Bedok Reservoir as part of the water scheme. Two pumping stations and 17 km of pipelines facilitated the transfer of raw water from Sungei Seletar Reservoir to Bedok Reservoir and then to the treatment plant. The latter had an initial daily treatment capacity of 136,000 cu m.9

Recreational activities
Bedok Reservoir was one of the first reservoirs to be upgraded and made more conducive for recreational activities under PUB’s Active, Beautiful and Clean Waters (ABC) programme. This programme aims to keep Singapore’s waterways and reservoirs clean, aesthetically pleasing and bustling with activities.10 It is part of PUB’s strategy to draw more visitors to the reservoirs and to create awareness about the use and protection of Singapore’s water resources.11 The upgrading works at Bedok Reservoir included installing more street lamps, planting more trees, enhancing pedestrian access, and building a fishing deck and a slipway pontoon for boats and kayaks.12


Today, the reservoir and its surrounding park are attractive lifestyle destinations popular with not only water-sport and fishing enthusiasts, but also cyclists, inline skaters, joggers and picnickers.13 Besides hosting water-sport competitions such as the Wakeboard World Cup and the SAVA Sprints International dragon boat race,14 it is also a venue for various land-based events. In 2008, Dutch theatre group The Lunatics staged a performance entitled “Hydro Sapiens” at the reservoir as part of the Singapore Arts Festival’s closing celebrations.15

Timeline
Feb 1981:
Messrs Camp, Dresser and McKee, the external consultant hired for the scheme, completes its feasibility study and begins designing and preparing the contract drawings.16

Nov 1981: Earthworks for the water treatment plant commence.17
Aug 1986: Construction of the scheme is fully completed. Bedok Waterworks begins distributing its treated water to consumers on 15 August.18
Oct 2004: Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Yaacob Ibrahim, announces plans to introduce more recreational activities at selected reservoirs, including Bedok Reservoir.19
Aug 2005: Temasek Polytechnic adopts the reservoir as part of PUB’s Our Waters programme to involve individuals and groups in caring for Singapore’s water bodies.20
Nov 2005: Finalised plan for the enhancement of Bedok Reservoir is unveiled.21



Author

Regina De Rozario




References
1. No more just a hole in the ground. (1983, November 13). The Straits Times, p. 9. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. Lee, M. F. (1985, June). The Sungei Seletar/Bedok water scheme, PUB Digest, 3, 26. (Call no.: RSING 354.59570087 PUBD); Public Utilities Board. (1987). Annual report 1986. Singapore: Author, p. 3. (Call no.: RCLOS 354.59570087 SPUB-[AR])
3. Imran Jalal. (2009, October 23). Bedok Boon. The Straits Times, p. 141. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. Water for the east. (1983, September 22). The Straits Times, p. 9. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Tan, Y. S., Lee, T. J., & Tan, K. (2009). Clean, green and blue: Singapore’s journey towards environmental and water sustainability. Singapore: ISEAS Pub., p. 132. (Call no.: RSING 363.70095957 TAN)
6. Tan, Y. S., Lee, T. J., & Tan, K. (2009). Clean, green and blue: Singapore’s journey towards environmental and water sustainability. Singapore: ISEAS Pub., p. 133. (Call no.: RSING 363.70095957 TAN)
7. Public Utilities Board. (1997). Singapore’s water supply. Singapore: Author, p. 5. (Call no.: RSING 628.1095957 SIN); Two proposed reservoirs to be linked. (1980, August 18). The Straits Times, p. 9. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Lee, M. F. (1985, June). The Sungei Seletar/Bedok water scheme, PUB Digest, 3, 28. (Call no.: RSING 354.59570087 PUBD)
9. Lee, M. F. (1985, June). The Sungei Seletar/Bedok water scheme, PUB Digest, 3, 30. (Call no.: RSING 354.59570087 PUBD)
10. Bedok reservoir first to be upgraded. (December 2005/January 2006). Waternet, p. 8. (Call no.: RSING q363.61095957 W); $23m river, reservoir upgrade. (2006, May 30). The New Paper, p. 16. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
11. Tan, N. S. (2007, July 29). Reservoir not losing greenery. The Straits Times, p. 46. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
12. Bedok reservoir first to be upgraded. (December 2005/January 2006). Waternet, p. 8. (Call no.: RSING q363.61095957 W)
13. Public Utilities Board. (2008). Explore Bedok Reservoir. Retrieved 2016, October 21 from Public Utilities Board website: http://www.pub.gov.sg/abcwaters/Documents/Bedok_reservoir_Final.pdf
14. Voon, T. (2007, September 24). From tragedy to triumph at Bedok. The Straits Times, p. 39; Lai, D. (2005, October 10). Dragon boat race to grow. Today, p. 61. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
15. Madhavan, S. (2008, June 21). Hydro visual treat at Bedok Reservoir. The Business Times, p. 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
16. Public Utilities Board. (1982). Annual report 1981. Singapore: Author, p. 25. (Call no.: RCLOS 354.59570087 SPUB-[AR])
17. Public Utilities Board. (1983). Annual report 1982. Singapore: Author, p. 25. (Call no.: RCLOS 354.59570087 SPUB-[AR])
18. Public Utilities Board. (1987). Annual report 1986. Singapore: Author, p. 21. (Call no.: RCLOS 354.59570087 SPUB-[AR])
19. Water sports in store at 8 reservoirs. (2004, October 10). The Straits Times, p. 12. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
20. Public Utilities Board. (2011). Watermark award: Recognising outstanding water contributions (p. 15). Retrieved 2016, October 21 from Public Utilities Board website: https://www.pub.gov.sg/Documents/WM2011.pdf
21. Koh, L. (2005, November 6). $1m makeover at Bedok Reservoir. The Straits Times, p. 8. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.



The information in this article is valid as at 2009 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

 

Subject
Reservoirs
Outdoor recreation--Singapore
Sports, recreation and travel>>Water sports
Nature>>Nature Conservation>>Reservoirs
Recreation>>Places of Interest
Reservoirs--Singapore
Places of interest