Tekong, the land every Singaporean son will travel to for BMT and every Singaporean son will definitely drink from. So, here are 5 things about Tekong water that you should know before your BMT!

A photo of a wet metal water tap with drops of water dripping out of it
(Tekong) Water is essential in staying alive – © Luis Tosta

1: Tekong water is really, really hard

Water hardness is the concentration of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. The higher the concentration, the harder the water.

The water in your coy’s bathroom is pretty hard. It is horrible to wash clothes with as it will make your clothes stiff and scratchy. Hard water is also really bad for hair but luckily we are mostly bald. Despite the hardness, the water is safe to drink and it can replenish the calcium and magnesium stores your body needs. If you prefer to drink normal water, you can fill your water bottle at the cookhouse or at the water cooler at your coy (if you are lucky enough to have a working one). Be sure to fill it with warm water ONLY unless you want to knock it down.

2: The Tekong Cough is NOT from drinking Tekong water

No, the hard water does not cause coughing! So what causes the Tekong Cough? Some say it’s an allergic reaction to the environment and nature, while others claim it’s from drinking too much cold water. When I fell prey to the Tekong Cough myself, it made me feel like there was a feather constantly tickling the back of my throat and nothing would make it go away! Thankfully, it subsided within a day or two after taking medication. So what caused my Tekong Cough? My diagnosis was an allergic reaction, but YMMV!

3: Pulau Tekong has its own water source!

Pulau Tekong has a reservoir which supplies the entire island with water.  Out of curiosity, I asked my sergeant about it. He glared at and barked, ” You want to visit? CAN! Saturday, I bring you there, want?” Like any sensible NS man, I refused his kind offer. To satisfy your curiosity, Pulau Tekong Reservoir is about 2km away from the main parade square nearest to the jetty. You can see it on Google Maps too.

4: Not every water point can be drunk from

There are designated water points for washing. You should NEVER drink from these water points as the water has not been treated for consumption. If you think you can sip from these waters to earn an MC, you might wind up being more sick than you bargained for! Don’t chao keng, ok? It’s not worth it, bro!

5: Tekong water has saved lives

No matter how gross the water is, drink up! Tekong’s weather is crazy hot and you will be out in the sun running around, sweating like mad most of the time. I’ve had bunk mates fainting from dehydration and it’s no laughing matter. Another thing you should know: you can drink water whenever you like! It is the only thing your sergeant will allow you to do without permission, so go for it! 

The best water you can have at Tekong is warm water and the second best is from the water cooler. Drinking up will keep you hydrated and healthy throughout your NS days and enjoy your BMT!