Tai Tam (Bowen Road) Conduit [1887- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Tai Tam (Bowen Road) Conduit [1887- ]

Current condition: 
In use
Date Place completed: 
c.1887-05-01 (Month, Day are approximate)

The Tai Tam (Bowen Road Conduit is one part of the Conduit from Tai Tam Reservoir to Albany [Filter Beds] [1887- ]. For more information about this early tap water project see here.

A masonry conduit with a length of about 4,2 km was built along the mountain contours from Wong-nei-Chung to the Albany. Work commenced in 1885 and was finished in mid-1887. It is “covered with granite slabs to protect the purity of the supply and to keep down the temperature of the water, and these aquaeducts will be so paved and concreted over as to enable them and the entire length of conduit to be used as a continuous level road for pedestrians.”

This road was named Bowen Road.

Today, Bowen Road starts at Stubbs Road near Tai Hang Road. Possibly it extended further east in these early day. The 1903.1 map on hkmaps.hk shows the tunnel outlet east of the Wong Nai Chung Road, near the bend of todays Tai Hang Road. This implies that the conduit started further east and possibly ran along todays Blue Pool Road (sic!).

This is supported by the 1931 Public Works Report where it is reported that

The Contract which comprised the construction of a new Conduit from the Tai Tam Tunnel Outlet to Stubbs Road, a distance of 2,273 feet, had been completed by the end of the year. The Conduit is designed to meet heavy traffic requirements, but as far as practicable it has been con­structed, in lighter section, clear of the roadway. 

In May 1940, the following call for tender was published: 

No. S. 258.—It is hereby notified that sealed tenders in triplicate, which should be clearly marked "Tender for Bowen Road Main", will be received at the Colonial Secretary's Office until Noon of Monday, the 17th day of June, 1940. The work consists of the Supply of reinforced concrete pipes and tubes of 24" internal diameter, with flexible joints suitable for a low pressure water supply main.......

Possibly the free flowing water from the conduit was led through (closed) pipes afterwards.


Near the junction of Wan Chai Gap Road and the conduit, a small reservoir was built: Wantsai (Wanchai) Valley Dam [1886- ]

Two more special places along the conduit can be found here: 

Overflow outlets, Bowen Road Viaduct [????- ]

Inspection cover of Bowen Road Viaduct [????- ]

Photos that show this place


This short section of the conduit forms one of the '22 Historic Structures of the Tai Tam Group of Reservoirs', which together have declared monument status, according to the AMO website. There is a photo and map of the 21-arch conduit section on the AMO website: https://www.amo.gov.hk/graphics/monuments/88/88-12-2.jpg and here: https://www.amo.gov.hk/graphics/monuments/88/Plan%2012.jpg . However, I was not able to find any detailed information on the AMO website regarding the conduit or its declared monument status, such as a heritage appraisal.

There are also a couple of photos on the Geographical Information System on HK Heritage website (gish.amo.gov.uk).

It would be interesting to have more information (e.g. photos, heritage assessments) on this section or any other part of the Tai Tam conduit.