Sustainable Living #9: Places with free drinking water. Say NO to bottled water!

(This post is part of the Sustainable Living series)

Earlier this year, I went to Carouselland at Marina Bay Sands convention centre. Afterwards, I decided to look around upstairs, outside the function rooms. I discovered this water dispenser:

Great! Now I don’t need to waste money on overpriced drinks when attending events here.

Based on this discovery and a few others, I decided to compile a list of free drinking water dispensers. Save money, reduce your sugar intake and avoid single-use plastic all at once!

General guide to searching

Any building which requires people to stay for most of the day will have water coolers e.g. schools and offices. Water coolers / water dispensers will usually be located outside toilets in order to connect to the piped water supply. Not all toilets in a building will have one, and it may not be located outside the most prominent or easily accessible toilet. You may need to go further inside a building or to upper / lower floors.

Convention centres and event spaces

Marina Bay Sands convention centre: Take the escalator upstairs to the 3rd or 4th floors where the function rooms and ballrooms are located. Look for the toilet just next to the escalator.

This photo shows the 3rd floor dispenser type. The 4th floor one is the drinking fountain type.

Suntec convention centre: Go to the 3rd floor function rooms and search the corridors, especially those further away from the atrium and main escalators. There are a few water dispensers along those corridors.

  • Singapore Expo: UNKNOWN.

Airport

Some of the new water dispensers can provide both cold and hot water! Normal water coolers are also available.

Examples:

(31/01/2020 update) Inside Terminal 1 gate: hot/cold water dispenser and drinking fountain.

Terminal 3: Outside the toilet near “The Planet Traveller” shop on level 3. Normal water coolers, hands-free sensor, including a child-height one.

  • Only in the terminals, not in Jewel
  • Both inside the passenger-only transit areas AND public areas!
  • Publicly accessible:
    • Departure level near check-in counters
    • Arrival level near car pick-up
  • Passenger-only:
    • Inside each gate
    • Outside every toilet along the gate corridors

Museums

Those operated by the government’s Heritage Board should have water coolers. Privately-owned museums may not have one.

Personally visited and confirmed:

National Museum: Basement level outside toilets.

  • Asian Civilisations Museum
  • Philatelic Museum

Attractions

Gardens by the Bay: Water cooler near Supertree Grove.

(11/01/2020 update) Bird Park: Near penguin exhibit, parrot area, waterfall aviary, discovery building, etc.

  • Unconfirmed: Possibly other parks and gardens?
  • Zoo and Night/River Safari should have them

Libraries

  • National Library: Go upstairs to the reference sections, there is one on each floor outside the toilets, next to the lift lobby.
  • Other libraries should have at least one, not necessarily on the first floor. You may need to search each level, near the toilet.
  • Shopping centre libraries will probably not have one since they usually don’t have internal toilets.

(22/11/2019 update) Jurong Regional Library: level 3 outside toilets

Community centres / community clubs

Most community centres / community clubs should have at least one. Some smaller ones may not have a water cooler, which is unforgivable, since they are used for many sports activities.

  • Heartbeat@Bedok: All levels outside toilets
  • (13/01/2020 update) Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre: ground level only

Schools including adult training centres

Since students are required to stay for most of the day, all schools will definitely have water coolers. However, not all of them are publicly accessible.

  • Universities will usually have a large number of easily accessible water coolers due to the large student and staff population.
  • Lifelong Learning Institute, Paya Lebar: Water cooler on each level outside toilets.

Devan Nair Institute, Jurong East, next to IMM and hospital: Water cooler on each level outside toilets. They are unusually low, perhaps there are children using them?

Commercial building

(15/06/2020 update) Paya Lebar Quarter, courtyard between blocks. Adult & child water coolers.

To readers: Please comment below if you know of any more free and accessible water coolers / dispensers in Singapore!


More posts in the Sustainable Living series:

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