Tai Tam Waterworks Heritage Trail
The Tai Tam Waterworks Heritage Trail (Chinese: 大潭水務文物徑) is a heritage trail in Hong Kong that comprises 21 waterworks structures with historical value near the Tai Tam group of reservoirs. The Trail is about 5 km long and takes about two hours to complete. The Trail is located along the Tai Tam Reservoir Road with entrance at Wong Nai Chung Gap near Hong Kong Parkview or at the junction of Tai Tam Road and Tai Tam Reservoir Road. Ten information stations were established en route to introduce the functions and historic values of the structures. Guided tours will be organised for schools and non-profit making organisations.
A total of 41 pre-World War II waterworks structures located in six reservoir areas, namely Pok Fu Lam Reservoir, Tai Tam Group of Reservoirs, Wong Nai Chung Reservoir, Kowloon Reservoir, Shing Mun (Jubilee) Reservoir and Aberdeen Reservoir, were declared as monuments in September 2009, to recognise the heritage value of waterworks facilities built in pre-war era. The Trail was established for the declared monuments in the Tai Tam Group of Reservoirs to help the public appreciate the history of water supply and the waterworks structures in Hong Kong. Among the six reservoirs, Wong Nai Chung Reservoir has been converted into a boating park since 1986, while the other reservoirs are still operating.
The reservoir structures are regarded as a kind of Utilitarian engineering structures influenced by Italianate Renaissance of Victorian civil engineering. Therefore, they are considered having heritage value and are kept intact.
With regard to the engineering techniques used, the system used in Tai Tam Reservoir relied much less on gravity flow, which only accounted for about 20% of the total capacity of the ultimate fresh water supply. It was built using a more advanced engineering techniques than those used in building the Pokfulam one, as the system of Pokfulam Reservoir relied completely on a simple principle based on gravity – water running down from a higher place to a lower one.