Originally known as Kalang River Reservoir, Peirce Reservoir was completed in 1910 to meet the need for more potable water which had increased significantly by the late 1800s.
The official opening ceremony was held on 26 March 1912 and graced by Governor Sir Arthur Henderson Young. An inscription stone specially imported from Aswan, Egypt, was erected. The municipal commissioners also presented the governor with a model of the reservoir in silver, made by a firm in Canton, China.
The reservoir was renamed in 1922 to Peirce Reservoir in honour of the municipal engineer who developed the plans for the project. In 1970, Public Utilities Board began feasibility checks around the reservoir with the intention of enlarging it and a new site on the upper tributary of Kallang River was chosen. Completed in 1975, the new reservoir was named Upper Peirce Reservoir, and Peirce Reservoir was accordingly renamed Lower Peirce.