Recalling the old El Deposito

04:41 AM September 16, 2019

The news story that the El Deposito in San Juan is being fixed up as a tourist attraction is welcome news.

There is one detail in the article, “El Deposito to be opened to public in 2020” (9/9/19), that could benefit from elaboration. It says water was pumped from the Marikina River to the Deposito through 5 kilometers of cast iron pipes.


I believe these pipes ran only the last one or two kilometers to the Deposito. Before that, the water from the Ermitaño Creek (a tributary of the Marikina River) flowed through a tunnel that ran alongside Santolan road, then a quiet country lane.

The tunnel was about 4 feet wide and 6 feet high, and the water ran gently at a depth of a few inches. It was accessed by stone stairways. I remember going down some of these stairways as a boy in the 1930s, when visiting a relative’s property in the area.


I wonder what has happened to the tunnel? Has it simply been covered up or has it collapsed? The cast iron pipes were cut when the Gilmore-Ortigas road was opened, and for a while the water splashed out of the pipes.

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