Upper & Lower Peirce Reservoir

Both Lower and Upper Peirces Reservoirs  are impounding reservoirs, created by damming the lower reaches of the *Kallang River. They are located near MacRitchie Reservoir and Upper Seletar Reservoir. These four reservoirs together with  the surrounding forests form the Central Catchment Area of Singapore.

It was originally known as the Kallang River Reservoir and was renamed Peirce Reservoir in 1922 after Robert Peirce, the Municipal Engineer from 1901 to 1916. The reservoir was again renamed Lower Pierce Reservoir in 1975 after the construction of the new Upper Peirce Reservoir

In the late 1960s, increasing demand of water led the Public Utilities Board to examine the feasibility of increasing the capacity of Peirce Reservoir. Thus a higher dam was constructed  upstream of the existing dam in 1970 to create Upper Peirce Reservoir.

Peirce Reservoir is sometimes misspelt Pierce Reservoir.

*Interestingly the source and mouth of the longest river in Singapore – Kallang River, have both become reservoirs. The source was damned to create both Lower and Upper Pierce Reservoirs in the 1910s and 1970s resepctively. At its mouth or Kallang Basin, a dam Marina Barrage was built in 2008 to create the Marina Reservoir behind it.

(Reference article:

The entrance to Lower Peirce Reservoir Park is via Old Upper Thomson Road which is one of the oldest road in Singapore.

A bronze plaque to commemorate  Robert Peirce who was the municipal engineer of Singapore from 1901 to 1916.

On the opposite bank of Lower Peirce is the Singapore Island Country Club (SICC) golf course. MacRitchie Reservoir is just on the other end of the golf course.

Lower Peirce Reservoir is one of the few reservoirs (the others are Kranji, MacRitchie, Upper Seletar and Lower Seletar Reservoirs) where fisherman can fish legally in Singapore, but only at the designated area marked “Fishing Ground” and only with artificial baiths. Nevertheless, there are still people fishing with live baits in Upper Peirce Reservoirs.

Even though Upper Peirce Reservoir is just beside Lower Peirce Reservoir, there is no forest trail that connects them together. Unlike Lower Peirce Reservoir which is easily accessible from the main road (only 200 m along Old Upper Thomson Road from the junction between *Upper Thomson Road and Ang Mo Kio Ave 1), the entrance to Upper Peirce Reservoir is located further down Old Upper Thomson and is more than 1 Km from the main road.

* Upper Thomson Road refers to the dual carriage way Upper Thomson Road whereas Old Upper Thomson Road refers to the slip road that meanders along the edge of the reservoirs forested area.

From Lower Peirce Reservoir Park, about 500 m further down Old Upper Thomson Road is the entrance to Lower Peirce Trail. The trail is a 900 m wooden boardwalk through you through one of Singapore’s last remaining mature secondary forests. Many of the trees are more than 100 years old. One of the highlights is picher plants which are not commonly seen elsewhere in Singapore.

The 4.5 km stretch of Old Upper Thomson Road from Lower Peirce Reservoir Park to Upper Peirce Reservoir Park  is one of my favourite cycling route in Singapore. The first part of the route about 2.5 km  from Lower Peirce Reservoir Park to the entrance gate of Upper Peirce Reservoir Park  is relatively flat terrian and easy cycling. However the remaining 2 km route from the entrance gate to the reservoir park is a series of up and down slopes. There are at least 2 killer slopes (maybe more or less depending on one’s stamina , cycling skill and bicycle made).

Some animals including monkeys are knocked down by cars when they try to cross the road to reach the other side of the forest.

The above photo show the entrance gate of Upper Peirce Reservoir. From here, it is another 2 km to the reservoir park. There is bus service along this route. Most people get to the park either by driving or cycling. Monkeys (Long-tailed macaques) like to prowl along the roadside waiting for drive-by feeding – an illegal and inconsiderate act (http://www.wildsingapore.com/places/monkey.htm).

Similar to Lower Peirce Reservoir, the opposite bank of Upper Peirce Reservoir (as seen from the park) is the Singapore Island Country Club (SICC) golf course. The long embankment on the left side of the photo is the dam that separates Upper Peirce from Lower Peirce Reservoirs.

Since the establishment of the PUB board in 1963, the logo has been changed three times. The above photo shows the second logo used from 1976 – 2001.

On the right side of the dam is Upper Peirce Reservoir, on its left side is Lower Peirce Reservoir. At the other end of the dam is the Singapore Island Country Club (SICC) golf course. There is a fence at the end of the walkway to prevent public from tresspasing into the golf course. Some of the activities seen on the dam are kite flying, illegal fishing and bridal photo taking.  You can walk down the slope to the banks of Lower Peirce Reservoir.

The above photo taken from the right side of the dam shows Upper Peirce Reservoir. The two pole like objects in the center of the photo are the Bukit Timah Hill transmission towers owned by Singtel.

The above photo taken from the left side of the dam shows Lower Peirce Reservoir.  You can see Ang Mo Kio and Bishan HDB flats in the background of the photo.

The water of Lower Peirce Reservoir is much more tranquil than Upper Peirce Reservoir. The reflection of the opposite bank can be clearly seen in the water.

The field situated below the dam is a popular spot for families picnicking, playing badmitton and ball games.

How to get there

Lower Pierce Reservoir: The gate entrance to Lower Pierce Reservoir is located about 200m away from the junction between Upper Thomson Road and Ang Mo Kio Ave 1. Bus services available are: 163, 167, 169, 855, 980.

Upper Pierce Reservoir: The gate entrance to Upper Pierce Reservoir is located along Old Upper Thomas Road (a deserted road that run along the edge of the edge of the reservoirs forested area). From the gate entrance, it is another 2km to the reservoir park. Hence the more convenient way to visit it is by car or bicycle.

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