How tap water gets treated here
Despite tap water being 1,000 times cheaper, S'pore consumers seem to prefer bottled water, having spent $134 million on it in 2015
Turn on the tap and you get clean water in Singapore.
But this has not stopped consumers from buying millions of bottles of water every year.
Last month, data from research firm Euro-monitor International showed that they spent $134 million on bottled water in 2015, nearly 24 per cent more than in 2010.
This is despite PUB, the national water agency,saying tap water can be 1,000 times cheaper than bottled water.
The New Paper visited one of PUB's eight water treatment plants - the Chestnut Avenue Waterworks near Bukit Panjang - to find out how thoroughly water is processed. It treats water from local catchment areas.
The eight waterworks form one of four "national taps". The other three are imported water, NEWater and desalinated water.
COMMON SUPPLY NETWORK
Chestnut Avenue Waterworks draws water from the adjacent Upper Peirce Reservoir, and water treated there goes to the common supply network.
The first stage is screening, where the water is pumped through self-cleaning screens to remove particles greater than 1mm.
A chemical is then added to bind suspended matter and certain particles in the water, including things like silt and sand, in a process called coagulation.
As the substances bind together, they become heavier and settle at the bottom of the sedimentation tank, where they are removed.
The water then passes through the ultrafiltration membranes, which further remove finer residual particles.
After filtration, lime is added to balance the pH of the water, fluoride is added to prevent tooth decay and chlorine is used to disinfect the water.
Residual chlorine is also present in the water as it moves through the distribution system, all the way to the taps here.
To ensure water quality is always perfect, the waterworks uses machines and laboratory assistants to monitor water quality around the clock.
They also use fish.
The Fish Activity Monitoring System (FAMS) uses live fish to monitor the quality of raw and treated water.
If fish like tiger barbs in samples of the water die or show signs of distress such as abnormal swimming patterns, it might indicate a change in water quality and the central monitoring unit would be alerted.
Said a PUB spokesman: "PUB's Water Quality Laboratory is world-class and is fully accredited and staffed with scientists and technicians.
"About 400,000 water quality tests are conducted annually on more than 300 parameters, surpassing some 100 parameters specified by WHO.
"This is to ensure good water quality is maintained during distribution and consumers can be assured of safe drinking water from their taps."