Singapore tap water, ranked
Those of us in Singapore are #blessed with potable water flowing out of every tap on the island – yes, even from the taps in public restrooms. While this water may be extremely safe to drink, most of us can be picky about the taste, mouthfeel, and overall vibe of the tap water in our own houses.
If you’ve always thought that Singapore’s tap water tastes the same everywhere, newsflash, there’s actually a difference between the different regions. To figure out which area reigns supreme, we’ve conducted a taste test to give you an unofficial ranking of the tap water in Singapore, from lowest to highest.
Note: The taste of the water samples may have been affected by the bottles used and the pipes of individual households. Please do not take this ranking to heart and trust that Singapore’s tap water is perfectly safe to drink as-is.
How we conducted this taste test
In order to gather a large enough sample pool, we asked some of our TSL colleagues to bring a clean bottle of unfiltered tap water from each of their houses. After crowdsourcing, three of us from the editorial team came down to the office to do a taste test so we could make fair judgments.
As illustrated in the “MRT map” below, the following regions were tested by our judges.
I’m sorry Sembawang, but your tap water ranked the lowest during our tasting sesh. Our sample had a strong chlorine and metallic smell that hit us the moment we poured it out of the bottle. It also sort of tasted like a very well-used swimming pool.
Megan: “This smells a bit like drain water.”
Jess: “I don’t think I can drink this, TBH.”
Me: “The taste is super strong.”
10. Pasir Ris
The person who brought this sample also said the water tasted metallic on its own, so the flask didn’t affect its taste.
Our Pasir Ris tap water sample was slightly better than Sembawang. It had a strong metallic taste and felt stale, if that’s even possible for water. It wasn’t crisp or refreshing and left an iron-ish aftertaste in our mouths.
Megan: “This water tastes like it’s been left inside a bottle for weeks on end.”
Jess: “Flat. Soft. Dull. The three things you don’t want your water to taste like.”
Me: “It tastes like when you bite your tongue and it starts bleeding.”
9. Yio Chu Kang
Our Yio Chu Kang water sample wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t ideal either. The water tasted soft and milky – presumably from the minerals and irons that were inside. This water had slight bitter, sharp, and metallic notes.
Megan: “This is… slightly bitter for some reason?”
Jess: “It’s not very thirst quenching.”
Me: “It tastes soft, but it’s not the nice UWU kind of soft.”
8. Toa Payoh
Chlorine is great for keeping tap water clean but it can affect its taste. While the other regions had layers to their tap water, our Toa Payoh sample had a prominent taste of chlorine.
Megan: “It has swimming pool vibes.”
Jess: “It’s very chlorinated.”
Me: “I feel reassured that this water has virtually no bacteria, but also very disturbed that this water tastes like a pool.”
It did have an extremely delicate taste however, which was actually fairly nice and refreshing.
Novena’s water tasted extremely processed and almost too squeaky clean for its own good – almost like NEWater. With slight chemical undertones, this water tasted processed but at least we knew that meant it was clean.
Megan: “Tastes dainty, but also like chlorine.”
Jess: “This feels like it’s been through too much processing.”
Me: “It’s kind of plasticy but weirdly, I like it.”
6. Boon Lay
Many of us have nightmares about drinking the very bitter TCM drinks as kids and our Boon Lay sample tap water gave me subtle flashbacks to that time. It had a very subtle herbal and bitter aftertaste, but overall it was pretty basic – a good break from the weird taste of some of our other tap water samples.
Megan: “This has a bit more of an herbal aftertaste than the others.”
Jess: “It’s slightly bitter, actually.”
Me: “It’s okay enough to drink.”
Our water sample from Kallang wasn’t bad by any means; It was just water with a slight funkiness added on. It was definitely not an offensive taste but it did have a plastic aftertaste which can’t be attributed to any source since we took it straight from our office tap.
Megan: “Tastes like if you licked a piece of paper lol.”
Jess: “It’s like camp water – not the best but also not the worst.”
Me: “Again, I like the taste of plastic so I actually didn’t mind this one.”
4. Boon Keng
Even though this is the fourth best-tasting water on this list, we’ve only just reached true neutral. Our water sample from Boon Keng was what you would hope that your tap water would taste like – absolutely nothing. It was hydrating and adequately thirst-quenching.
Megan: “There’s absolutely no taste.”
Jess: “It’s a very neutral tasting water.”
Me: “Mmm, nothing, my favourite flavour of water.”
Bishan-ers are lucky to not only have two MRT lines, but also pretty amazing tasting water. This tap water sample was pretty great and tasted like Dasani or any other $1 bottle of mineral water. It definitely had a mineral aftertaste which is what some people pay to have.
Megan: “It’s not a premium bottle of water but it’s really good considering it comes from a tap.”
Jess: “It reminds me of Dasani or some other regular mineral water.”
Me: “Tastes refreshing and clean ngl.”
Tampines’ water has a very slight mineral taste but otherwise, it’s both refreshing and crisp. If you were to do a blind taste test, you’d probably mistake it for Fuji or Evian. Yes, it was that good.
Megan: “Tastes like a fresh flowing river.”
Jess: “This water is crisp and lively, if that’s even possible.”
Me: “My soul feels cleansed after drinking this.”
1. Tiong Bahru
Our Tiong Bahru water sample was extremely crisp and refreshing
Surprise, surprise, Tiong Bahru emerged victorious. Perhaps their amazing tap water is the secret behind all the delicious cafe food you can find there. Either way, drinking this felt like a premium experience and I felt as though I was drinking this from a flowing mountain stream.
Megan: “It’s like mineral water, with alkaline pH vibes.”
Jess: “I would pay a premium for this tap water. It gives off bubbly cheerleader vibes.”
Me: “Makes me feel atas as I drink it. Tiong Bahru is like the Dior of tap water.”
The official “unofficial” tap water ranking in Singapore
There we have it, 11 regions of tap water – ranked by newly inducted water connoisseurs. If you’re concerned about the taste of your tap water, now you know which region in Singapore to move to next: Tiong Bahru.
Get purified tap water with Livingcare
In all seriousness, if this taste test taught us anything, it’s that not all tap water is the same. Rather than attaching one of those tap “socks” and running the risk of contaminating your water, investing in a proper filtration system can be great for your health in the long run.
Not all of us have the counter space to accommodate a large and bulky water dispenser though, which is why Livingcare’s Undersink Filtration System ($588) is so useful. Not only can it remove the swimming pool-esque chlorine smell and taste from your tap water, but it also produces alkaline water which has been proven to be beneficial for your health.
The water comes out effortlessly from a separate tap and doesn’t clutter your kitchen space
The filtration happens in four different stages. Its premium carbon filter removes any organic chemicals and keeps your water tasting fresh. Its nano pH filter and prime UF-membrane then target the smaller molecules, increasing the water alkalinity while removing heavy metals. Finally, the last active carbon filter removes the chlorine while preventing bacteria growth.
Your tap water flows through Livingcare’s four filtration stages before it comes out of your tap
While the filtration system can get quite technical, it definitely does its job because the water came out tasting very different from before. It was refreshing, clean, and tasted balanced, which was a large improvement from our original Kallang tap water sample.
Whether you live in Sembawang or in Tiong Bahru, tap water can vary based on the region or even the pipes in your house. To make sure that you’re only putting the highest quality water into your body, investing in a filtration system from Livingcare can make a world of difference in your health and the taste of your water.
This post was brought to you by Livingcare.
Photography by Doreen Fan.