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Covered Drinking Water Storage
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority


Spot Pond
Stoneham (2015)
20 million gallons

Spot pond tank thumbnail

Blue Hills
Quincy (2009)
20 million gallons

Oct 05 proposed plan of Blue Hills Reservoir and Storage

Fells (2000)
20 million gallons

Fells Reservoir aerial photo

John J. Carroll (2005)
45 million gallons

Walnut HIll Storage Tank - in construction, 2003

construction photo

Norumbega (2004)
115 million gallons

Norumbega Jan02 Progress

construction photo

Loring Road (2001)
20 million gallons

Loring Road storage tank

Nash Hill (1999)
25 million gallons

Nash Hill storage tanks

Arlington (1937): 2 million gallons
Bear Hill - Stoneham (1986): 6 million gallons
Bellevue - West Roxbury (1955): 3.7 million gallons
Deer Island - Boston (1994): 2 million gallons
Turkey Hill - Arlington (1945): 2 million gallons
Walnut Hill - Lexington (1961): 2 million gallons


MWRA has recently constructed a new network of tanks to protect and store treated drinking water in compliance with the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

The tanks replace a 100-year old system of open reservoirs. Many of the original, open reservoirs are still maintained for emergency use.


Covered tanks protect drinking water from potential contamination by natural sources, such as algae, bacteria, birds and other animals.


In total, MWRA's storage tanks hold approximately 180 million gallons of treated water. The water is continuously used and replenished.

Storing treated water at points across the water system keeps a supply of treated water available for communities' critical needs in the event of an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a major break in the transmission system.

Water pressure

MWRA's service area ranges from the hills of Central Massachusetts to near sea-level communities on the East Coast. Our covered water storage tanks are located at key elevation points, helping to maintain appropriate pressure levels across the system.




MWRA's Integrated Water Supply Improvement Program
larger image






MetroWest and Metro Boston Communties

Most MWRA communities receive their drinking water from the Wachusett Reservoir.

The raw water is treated at the John J. Carroll Water Treatment Plant in Marlborough, then sent eastward through the MetroWest Water Supply Tunnel to covered storage tanks at Norumbega, Loring Road, Blue Hills, Fells and Spot Pond.

From the tanks, water is then distributed to member communities. Each community maintains its own network of pipes that ends at customers' taps.

Chicopee Valley Area Communties

Drinking water for three Chicopee Valley communities -- Chicopee, Wilbraham and South Hadley Fire District #1 -- comes from the pristine Quabbin Reservoir.

After leaving the reservoir, the raw water is treated at the Quabbin Water Treatment Plant, then stored at the Nash Hill storage tank in Ludlow.

From the Nash Hill tank, water is then distributed to communities. Each community maintains its own network of pipes that ends at customers' taps.

Water is tested at every step from the source to the tap.

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Updated September 9, 2015

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