Day 311 : Flush and Flash

Work today brought me to the recently revamped NEWater Visitor Centre. I’ve been assigned to shoot the centre and its new exhibits since I have some experience with photography. It is not within my job scope but I don’t mind helping my company, Digimagic Communications, save some cost.

Procuring clean and safe drinking water for an ever growing population has always been a strain on our land scarce petite nation and a politcal tumour with Malaysia where we import most of our water supply from.

To satisfy our thirst, Singapore began recycling water in 1974 for industrial purposes to free up reservoir catchments for human use. More than 20 years later, water purification technology came of age and the reclamation of wasterwater from sewage was made possible. In 1998, NEWater was born.

The NEWater Visitor Centre traces Singapore’s hydro-struggles and the evolution of NEWater as our long-term solution to hydrating the nation through a highly interactive gallery and a peek into the wastewater treatment processes.

More than 70% of earth is covered in water but only less than 1% of that ratio is fresh water. A human can generally survive for 3 weeks without food but only 3 days without water. That’s why clean water is so precious!

Getting to the NEWater Visitor Centre can be inconvenient as it sits at an obscure location. I took a cab here.

Reception lobby of the centre with a mosaic of images showing people’s relationship with water.

The gallery comprises 2 zones – 1 zone features a hive of interactive exhibits to help visitors learn about water conservation; the other is a walk-in tour of the NEWater factory that helps visitors understand the various filtration and purification process that NEWater deploys.

The night soil man brings back memories of my childhood staying at my grandparents’ shophouse at Bencoolen Street. Back then, our toilets didn’t come with a flushing system and we depended on these men to clear the wastes daily. The stench was unbearable.

Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the NEWater production facility to learn about the various steps in reclaiming sewage water.

These are not bolsters for a mega pyjamas party but a magnification of the filtration barriers that block large sediments.

Purification capsules at work to clean wastewater.

A commitment hall where visitors can post a digital pledge to conserve water.

This replica of a deep sewage tunnel links one zone of the gallery to another.

Learn more about water usage and wastages in our daily life with this installation to identify areas and ways to conserve water.

Partial pano view of the interactive zone of the gallery which features some pretty cool games.

My company produced the floor-to-wall interactive map projection where visitors can learn about where our water sources come from. Known as the 4 National Taps, Singapore gets our water supply from reservoirs, purchases from Malaysia, desalination of seawater, and NEWater.

It’s a long way in and out of the NEWater Visitor Centre. After my photography session, I waited for a long time but no cabs came to the centre so I walked all the out to the main road to get one. Shortly after I got into a taxi, heavy rain came. Phew!

NEWater Visitor Centre

Address : 20, Koh Sek Lim Road, Singapore 486593

Tel : 6546 7874

Opening Hours : 9am – 5pm (Tuesday – Sunday)

Guided Tours : 9am, 10.45am, 12.30pm, 2.15pm, and 4pm

Admission : Free

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. galangpusa
    Nov 19, 2012 @ 16:15:33

    Nice photos you got there! I can sense that you have an “artistically-fulfilling” job. I’m envious hehe.


    • Darren Ng
      Nov 27, 2012 @ 16:10:19

      thanks for dropping by and complimenting on the photos 🙂 don’t have to be envious, i’m in a deadend 9 to 6 office-bound desk job. nothing artistic, and i try to delude myself into thinking it’s fulfilling! lol


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