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Copies of this book may be had at twenty-five cents 
each, fifty or more at fifteen cents each by applying 

20 Somerset Street 
Boston, Mass. 

The information contained between the covers of 
this little book has been compiled by the staff of 


a magazine published monthly (with the exception of 
July and August) by the employees of the 

Metropolitan District Commission 

which contains information on current projects of the 
Water, Park and Sewerage Divisions of said Commission, 
and yearly subscription for which is $1.25. 

•Copyrighted 1932 

The Office Window 
published by 
Metropolitan District 
Commission Employees 


Through the courtesy and generosity of Mr. William 
E, Foss r the staff of the Office Window is able to 
publish this valuable article on the "Metropolitan 
Water Works". 

Mr. Foss has been Director and Chief Engineer of 
the Metropolitan Water Works since September 1915. 
He has been connected with the works as an engineer 
for the past thirty-seven years and previous to this 
time was connected with the Water Department of the 
City of Boston. It is therefore apparent that the 
information contained in this article could not have 
been obtained from a more authentic source. 

To Mr* Frank E. Winsor the Office Window staff is 
also indebted for his hearty cooperation in writing 
the article on "A Major Addition to the Metropolitan 
Water Supply". Mr. Winsor, as Chief Engineer of this 
project of diverting into the Wachusett Reservoir, 
waters from the Ware and Swift Rivers, is, unques- 
tionably, the one best qualified to give the official 
account of this addition to the present Metropolitan 
Water System. 

The Office Window is grateful to both Mr. Foss and 
Mr. Winsor, and it Is needless to say that the many 
engineers, teachers and students who come into pos- 
session of one of these books will also be deeply 
indebted to. these distinguished engineers. 

April 1932 M.F.C. 

The Metropolitan Water Works 


(Director and Chief Engineer, Water Division) 

In the year 1895, the city 
of Boston and other municipal- 
ities within a radius of 10 
miles from the State House 
had found that it would be 
necessary to obtain addition- 
al water supplies. The Leg- 
islature of that year passed 
the Metropolitan Water Act 
which created the Metropoli- 
tan Water District, including 
Boston and 12 other municip- 
alities, and provided for the 
appointment by the Governor 
of a Metropolitan Water Board 
to construct, maintain and 
operate a system of Metropol- 
itan Water Works for furnish- 
ing an additional water sup- 
ply for said district. The 
act also provided that said 
Board by January 1, 1898, 
should acquire the existing 
Cochituate and Sudbury water 
supplies of the city of Boston 
and Spot Pond supply of the 
cities of Maiden and Medford 
and the town of Melrose. 

The Cochituate supply was 
the first public water supply 
of the city of Boston. Its 
construction was begun August 
20, 1846, nearly 85 years ago, 
when Mayor Josiah Quincy, Jun- 
ior, dug the first spadeful of 
earth and John Quincy Adams, 
the sixth president of the 
United States, dug the second 
spadeful of earth at Lake 
Cochituate in wayland* These 
works include Lake Cochituate 
and the Cochituate Aqueduct. 
The Aqueduct is a brick mas- 

onry conduit of elliptical cross 
sections 76 inches high and 60 
inches wide, which extends eas- 
terly from the Lake for a dis- 
tance of 14 miles to Chestnut 
Hill Pumping Station in Bright- 
on. The Lake forms a chain of 
3 beautiful ponds about 3-1/2 
miles In length situated in 
Framingham, Natick and wayland, 
and is surrounded by numerous 
pine groves, in one of which 
there is evidence of an old In- 
dian camp. These old works, 
which were first used in October 
1848, more than 82 years ago, 
are now being used to supply 19 
million gallons of water each 
day to the Metropolitan Water 

At the present time, when in 
case of emergency we are able to 
give immediate notice at a dis- 
tant place by telephone and to 
travel long d istances over the 
highways by automobile, with the 
speed of a railroad train, it is 
interesting to refer to an inci- 
dent that occurred March 29, 1859 
when the means of communication 
were not so rapid as they are now, 
On that day a breach occurred in 
the Cochituate Aqueduct at the 
top of the slope on the westerly 
side of the Charles River in 
Wellesley, and the escaping water 
was causing havoc in the vicinity, 
A young man living near by had 
the presence of mind to mount his 
horse and ride to the lake, a 
distance of 8 miles, as rapidly 
as possible and notify the gate- 
keeper, who shut off the water. 

This was prompt service in 
those days, for which the 
young man was presented a valu- 
able watch and chain by the 
Cochituate Water Board. 

In order to maintain satis- 
factory service, the city of 
Boston found it necessary in 
1866 to begin the construction 
of the Chestnut Hill distrib- 
uting reservoirs which were 
completed in 1870. Along the 
southern side of the reservoir 
there is a row of fine old 
English elm trees known as the 
Centennial Elms, as the young 

16 miles in length from Fram- 
ingham to Chestnut Hill Reser- 
voir. These works "were com- 
pleted In 1878 and are now in 
use as part of the Metropoli- 
tan Water Works. The Aqueduct 
Is 7 feet, 8 inches high and 9 
feet wide, with a capacity of 
100 million gallons a day. 
There are two Interesting and 
picturesque bridges on the line 
of the Aqueduct, the Echo 
Bridge, 475 feet In length over 
the Charles River at Newton Up- 
per Fall 8, where ten or more 
echoeB may be counted, standing 

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trees, which were brought over 
from England on the deck of a 
sailing vessel, were planted 
in 1876. The grounds about 
the reservoir are planted with 
beautiful shrubs and evergreen 
and other trees, which, with 
the blue waters of the reser- 
voir, make a very attractive 
picture enjoyed by many visi- 

In 1875 the city of Boston 
began the construction of ad- 
ditional storage reservoirs on 
the Sudbury River in Framing- 
ham and of the Sudbury Aqueduct 

under the main arch, when con- 
ditions are favorable, and the 
Waban Bridge, 536 feet in 
length, with 9 arches, which 
crosses the valley through 
which water flows in the Charl- 
es River from Waban Lake at Wel- 
lesley College. 

From 1878 to 1898 the city of 
Boston further developed its 
Sudbury River supply by con- 
structing storage reservoirs in 
Ashland, Hopkinton and Southbor- 
ough and alBO constructed high- 
service works with a pumping 
station at Chestnut Hill 


Reservoir. All of these works 
are now in use as part of the 
Metropolitan Water Works. 

Beginning in 1895 the Met- 
ropolitan Water Board construc- 
ted an aqueduct 12 miles in 
length, from the Sudbury Reser- 
voir in Southborough to the 
south branch of the Nashua 
River in Clinton. This aque- 
duct is 10-1/2 feet high and 
11-1/2 feet wide and has a cap- 
acity of 360 million gallons a 
day. At Clinton a dam 971 feet 
in length and 114 feet in 
height above the present sur- 
face of the ground, and 2 dikes 
of a combined length of over 
2-1/2 miles were constructed, 
thereby creating on the river 
above the dam a large storage 
reservoir about 8-1/2 miles 
long and 2 miles wide at its 
broadest part, with a shore 
line of 37 miles, a maximum 
depth of 129 feet of water and 
a storage capacity of 65 bil- 
lion gallons. These works are 
now known as the Wachusett 
Aqueduct and the Wachusett Dam 
and reservoir. The aqueduct 
was first used March 7, 1898. 
The reservoir was completed in 
1905 and first filled May 10, 
1908. For a distance of 3 
miles at the lower end in 
Southborough and Marlborough, 
the Wachusett Aqueduct is an 
open channel in which the flow 
of water is controlled by 2 low 
dams. These dams are construc- 
ted with re-entering crests so 
as to obtain a long spillway and 
it is an interesting sight to 
see a large flow of water pass- 
ing over them-. The masonry 
aqueduct is carried over the 
Assabet River in Northborough 
on a stone masonry bridge 359 
feet long with 7 arches and the 
high hill at the westerly end 

of the aqueduct is pierced by a 
tunnel 2 miles in length through 
solid rock. 

The Wachusett Reservoir when 
full, flows an area of 4,135 
acres and the water works 1 lands 
around the reservoir and along 
the tributary streams comprise 
an additional area of about 4,800 
acres. During the past 30 years 
many pine trees have been planted 
on these lands on which there are 
now many beautiful pine woods 
containing a new growth of more 
than 2 million trees. 

Before the reservoir was con- 
structed the water flowing down 
the river served to purify the 
sewage of the town of Clinton by 
dilution. As the flow of the 
river was to be stopped by the 
construction of the dam, the Met- 
ropolitan Water District was re- 
quired to provide disposal works 
for purifying the sewage, and 
these works are now operated as 
a part of the Metropolitan Water 

In constructing the Wachusett 
Reservoir 6 large mills, 8 school- 
houses, 4 churches and about 360 
dwellings occupied by over 1700 
people were removed and 19 miles 
of highways and 6-1/2 mi. of rail- 
road were flooded. The work of 
relocating the railroad included 
a tunnel 1,110 feet long and a 
viaduct 917 feet long across the 
river valley below the dam, with 
a maximum height of 133 feet 
above the river bed. 

To provide necessary facili- 
ties for conveying to the Metro- 
politan District the additional 
water which is discharged from 
the Wachusett Aqueduct into the 
Sudbury Reservoir, the Weston 
Aqueduct was constructed from 
the Sudbury Dam in Southborough 
easterly in Framingham, Wayland 
and Weston for a distance of 


13-1/2 ml lee , to high land a 
short distance west of the 
Charles River near the Common- 
wealth Avenue Bridge between 
Newton and Weston. 

The aqueduct is constructed 
chiefly of concrete masonry 
with the lower half lined with 
one course of brick masonry. 
For the first 3-1/2 miles it is 
9 feet 3 inches high and 10 
feet wide, and for the remain- 
ing distance 12 feet 2 inches 
high and. 13 feet 2 inches wide, 
except for a distance of nearly 
a mile, where a line of steel 
pipe 7.5 feet in diameter was 
laid across the Sudbury River 
and Happy Hollow Valleys and 
for a distance of one mile 
where a small equalizing reser- 
voir of about 60 acres in area 
and available storage capacity 
of about 100 million gallons 
was constructed. 

The Sudbury River is crossed 
by an arch formed by a vertical 
curve in the steel pipe line 
which rests on masonry abut- 
ments 80 feet apart which sup- 
port the weight of the pipe and 
of the water therein. 

The aqueduct is designed for 
a capacity of 300 million gal- 
lons a day and was first used 
in December, 1903. 

From the terminal chamber of 
the aqueduct the water is dis- 
tributed to various places in 
the Water District through a 
number of supply mains, one 48 
inches in diameter and 2-60 
inches in diameter have been 
constructed and the construc- 
tion of a third main 60 inches 
in diameter is now in progress. 

To provide for the storage 
of several days 1 supply of wa- 
ter within the. District, Spot 
Pond, which was acquired in 
1898 from the cities of Maiden 

and Medford and the town of Mel- 
rose, was improved by raising 
Its high water line 9 feet, by 
diverting from the Pond objec- 
tionable drainage from 878 acres 
of its original watershed and by 
making other improvements to 
convert it into an attractive 
distributing reservoir. Spot 
Pond was given this odd name by 
Governor John Winthrop, who 
first saw the pond in February, 
1632, when the water was low and 
many rocks projecting above the 
ice appeared like spots on the 

For distributing the water 
159 miles of supply and distri- 
bution pipe lines, mostly of 
large diameter, have been laid 
and 69 large meters have been 
installed to measure the amount 
of water furnished to each muni- 
cipality. In laying these pipe 
lines 3 submarine tunnels were 
constructed, 2 under Chelsea 
Creek between Chelsea and East 
Boston and one under Mystic 
River between Chelsea and 
Charlestown. A pressure tunnel 
was also constructed in rock 
under Waban Hill in Newton. 
The excavations for the subma- 
rine tunnels were kept full of 
compressed air to prevent in- 
flow of sea water from above, 
making it necessary for the 
workmen to enter and leave the 
tunnels through locks specially 
designed for the purpose. 

Chestnut Hill Pumping Sta- 
tion No. 1 in Brighton, acquired 
from the city of Boston in 1898 
was enlarged; Station No. 2 was 
constructed near by; and the 
Spot Pond Station in Stoneham 
was constructed between 1898 
and 1900; the Arlington Station 
was constructed in 1907; and the 
Hyde Park Station in 1913, to 
provide satisfactory service in 


districts at various elevations 
which could not be supplied by 

The equipment at these pump- 
ing stations includes: 7 high 
duty triple expansion pumping 
engines, of 325 to 1050 horse 
power each; 1 triple expansion 
engine of special design; 7 
high duty cross compound pump- 
ing engines; 3 steam turbine 
driven centrifugal pumping en- 
gines, 14 vertical fire tube 
boilers, of 220 to 270 horse 
power each and 5 horizontal re- 
turn tubular boilers of 75. to 
87 horse power each. All of 
the engines combined have 7,500 
horse power and a pumping capa- 
city of 340 million gallons a 
day. All of the stations are 
operated continuously and as the 
available storage in the high- 
service reservoirs, is, in gen- 
eral, less than the require- 
ments for 24 hours and in some 
districts sufficient for only 
a few hours, it is necessary to 
keep the pumping equipment in 
good condition and the operat- 
ing forces under strict disci- 
pline, and as a result, the 
stations are of much interest 
to visitors. 

There are 7 high-service re- 
servoirs with a combined capa- 
city of 2.4 billion gallons. 
For the southern high-service 
the Waban Hill Reservoir in 
Newton, elevation 264, was ac- 
quired from the city of Newton 
in 1900; the Fisher Hill Reser- 
voir in Brookline, elevation 
251, was acquired from the city 
of Boston in 1913; the Forbes 
Hill open reservior, elevation 
192, and the enclosed steel 
tank, elevation 251, on Forbes 
Hill in Quincy were constructed 
in 1900. For the northern high- 
service the Fells, a large open 

reservoir, elevation 271, was con- 
structed in 1899, and the Bear 
Hill, a small open reservoir, ele- 
vation 300, was constructed in 
1901. Both of these reservoirs 
are located in the Middlesex Fells 
Reservation in Stoneham. For the 
southern extra-high-service the 
enclosed steel tank on Bellevue 
Hill in West Roxbury, elevation 
375, was constructed in 1914. 
For the northern extra-high-ser- 
vice the enclosed steel tank on 
Arlington Heights in Arlington 
elevation 442, was constructed 
in 1921. The Forbes Hill, Belle- 
vue Hill and Arlington Heights 
tanks are enclosed in stone ma- 
sonry towers. Quincy granite 
was used at Forbes Hill, Bay 
View gray, Rockport granite at 
Bellevue Hill, and Indiana lime- 
stone at Arlington, where the 
Architecture is similar to an 
old tower on the Island of Samos 
In the Aegean Sea. From these 
towers, on a clear day, may be 
had a fine view of the Metropoli- 
tan District and of the high 
hills and mountains in Massachu- 
setts and New Hampshire in the 

A hydro-electric plant was 
installed at the Wachusett Dam in 
Clinton, in 1911, for the purpose 
of generating electric energy for 
sale as a by-product from the 
operation of the Water Works, and, 
so far as known, this was the 
first instance where water drawn 
for water supply purposes was 
used for generating electric 
energy for industrial purposes. 
In 1916 a hydro-electric plant 
was installed at the Sudbury Dam 
in Southborough for a similar 
purpose, and, in 1917, a high 
tension transmission line, 16 
miles in length, was constructed 
to connect these power stations, 
which have a combined capacity of 

7,000 horse power. At Sudbury 
Dam surge tanks were necessary 
below the water wheels for 
satisfactory regulation of the 
plant, and as the tanks would 
be unsightly if constructed 
below the dam,, they were pro- 
vided by excavating chambers 
out of sight in the solid ma- 
sonry of the dam. The gross 
revenue from the operation of 
these stations has varied from 
$60,000 to $96,000 a year and 
the net profits from the opera- 
tions average about 30% of the 
total revenue. 

For protecting the quality 
of the water supply large areas 
of land have been acquired on 
the margins of the reservoirs 
and along the tributary streams. 
Sanitary Inspectors patrol the 
watersheds and enforce the san- 
itary rules and regulations and 
filters are operated in Sterl- 
ing, Marlborough and Natick to 
remove objectionable matter 
from the surface waters of cer- 
tain drainage areas before the 
waters enter the reservoirs. 
The entire supply drawn for 
consumption or any part thereof 
is sterilized with chlorine 
when deemed necessary. 

The Metropolitan Water Dis- 
trict now includes an area of 
174 square miles and a popula- 
tion of 1,503,230, of which 
1,389,610 were regularly sup- 
plied with water from the Metro- 
politan Works during the year 
1930 and the total consumption 
was 50 billion gallons for the 
year, which is equivalent to 
an average use of 136.5 million 
gallons a day and of 98.2 gal- 
lons per capita per day. In 
1907 the consumption of water 
was at the rate of 129 gallons 
per capita per day, and has 
been very much reduced since 

then by the compulsory installa- 
tion of water meters on the ser- 
vice pipes, but in 1918, during 
the coldest winter on record, 
the consumption was at the rate 
of 171 million gallons a day for 
an entire week because of the 
large quantity of water wasted 
to prevent the freezing of ser- 
vice pipes. 

The total area of the Wachu- 
sett, Sudbury and Cochituate 
watersheds is 200 square miles, 
the total storage capacity of 
the 9 storage reserviors Is 80 
billion gallons, and the total 
annual requirement for water for 
all purposes from these sources 
is about 57 billion gallons. 
During the year 1930 the yield 
of these watersheds was the 
lowest on record and amounted . 
to only 36 billion gallons, in 
comparison with an average yield 
of 75 billion gallons. The total 
length of the 4 aqueducts that 
convey the water from these 
sources to the Water District is 
60 miles. The total area of the 
Water Works' lands and reservoirs, 
now under the control of the 
Water Division of the Metropoli- 
tan District Commission, is 
19,000 acres of which 2,000 
acres have been planted with 
pine trees. The lands and works 
are distributed over a large ter- 
ritory; the distance by highway 
from the easterly limit of the 
water works in Swamps cot t to the 
westerly limit of the lands in 
Holden is more than 60 miles and 
from the northerly limits to the 
southerly limits, the distance is 
about 20 miles. 

The total expenditures for the 
construction of the Metropolitan 
Water Works from 1895 to 1930, 
inclusive, amounts to $48,000,000. 
The annual expenditures of the 
Water Division amount to about 


$1,400,000, of which about 
$950,000 Is for regular mainten- 
ance and operation of the works 
and about $450,000 is for spe- 
cial construction and replace- 
ments . 

In the main office in Boston 
and the four branch offices of 
the Water Division in Clinton, 
Framingham, Brighton and Medford, 
there are 57 supervising, engi- 
neering and clerical employees 
directing the construction work 
and the permanent maintenance 
force of about 308 employees. 
Some of the permanent employees 
have been connected with the 
Works since the beginning in 
1895 and a number were previous- 
ly employed in the Boston Water 
Works. The service of some of 
them dates back to 1881 and 

The activities of the Metro- 
politan Water Works were direc- 
ted by the Metropolitan Water 
Board beginning in 1895 at 3 
Mount Vernon Street, where the 
east wing of the State House 
now stands. In 1900 the office 
was removed to No. 1 and No. 3 

Asnburton Place, zo provide for 
the enlargement of the State 
House. The new location was of 
historic interest, the buildings 
having been erected prior to 
1840, or about 100 years ago. 
March 20, 1901, the Metropolitan 
Water Board was abolished and 
its duties were transferred to 
the Metropolitan Water and 
Sewerage Board, a new Board, 
which, on December 1, 1919, was 
also abolished and its duties 
were transferred to the Metro- 
politan District Commission, 
and since then the activities 
of the Metropolitan Water Works 
have been continued as the 
Water Division of that Commis- 
sion. The Ashburton Place of- 
fices were used until December 
22, 1930, when the Water Divi- 
sion office was transferred to 
the 8th floor of the new Metro- 
politan District Commission 
building at 20 Somerset Street. 

Note: All elevations shown in 
feet above Boston City 

A Major Addition to the Water Supply of the Metropolitan 


Chief Engineer of the Metropolitan District Water Supply Commission 

The Metropolitan District 
Water Supply Commission was 
created by Chapter 375 of the 
Acts of the Legislature of 1926, 
and was given additional powers 
and duties by the Legislature in 
1927 (Chapters 111 and 321). 

The Commission is charged 
with providing major additions 
to the water supply of the Met- 
ropolitan water district, such 

additions to consist of the 
works necessary to divert into 
the Wachusett Reservoir waters 
from the Ware and Swift Rivers. 
The Commission was also required 
to lay pipe lines, etc., to con- 
vey certain waters from the 
Hopkinton, Whitehall and Ashland 
reservoirs in the South Sudbury 
area, and from the Sudbury River 
at Cordaville, into the North 


Sudbury system of reservoirs. 
The new works in the Sudbury 
district were, in the main, 
built in 1927, and have since 
been in use as required. 

To divert waters from the 
Ware and Swift rivers into the 
Wachusett Reservoir, a tunnel 
24.6 miles in length, extending 
from the westerly portion of 
the Wachusett Reservoir, near 
Oakdale, through the towns of 
West Boylston, Holden, Rutland, 
Oakham, Barre, Hardwick and 
Greenwich is required. A one- 
man trolley car could be opera- 
ted in this tunnel, it being 12 
feet 9 inches high by 11 feet 
wide, and of horseshoe shape. 
The portion of the tunnel re- 
quired to divert water from the 
Ware River, known as the WACHU- 
13-1/4 miles in length, and the 
first contract (for the deepest 
shaft, 656 feet) was awarded in 
March, 1927, followed by con- 
tracts for five other shafts 
varying from about 310 to 460 
feet in depth, in May and June 
of that year. Following the 
completion of these shafts and 
the excavation of varying 
lengths of tunnel therefrom, 
two contracts for the comple- 
tion of the entire Wachusett- 
Coldbrook Tunnel, 14.2 miles in 
length, including 5,000 feet 
beyond the Ware River intake, 
were executed on April 30, 1928. 
These contracts were completed 
except for some minor details 
of cleaning up in 1931 and the 
work was sufficiently advanced 
to permit the diversion of Ware 
River water into the Wachusett 
Reservoir on March 1, 1931. On 
March 20, 1931, the flow of the 
river having reached 85 million 
gallons daily, the excess over 
this quantity, as permitted by 

the law, was sent through the 
tunnel into Wachusett Reservoir. 

A diversion dam on the Ware 
River and other works necessary 
to provide for the diversion were 
built mainly during 1929 and 1930, 
and a house was built over the 
intake works at Shaft 8 in 1930 
and 1931. The water drops about 
260 feet vertically at Shaft 8, or 
about half again as high as the 
falls at Niagara. The water is 
taken from the river into a cham- 
ber or well at the top of the 
shaft through nine siphon spill- 
ways of various capacities, which 
are designed to automatically in- 
sure complete diversion above the 
prescribed limit, and to prevent 
diversion below that limit. 
From this well the fall into the 
shaft is controlled by four but- 
terfly valves which automatically 
maintain a water seal for the 
exclusion of air, and insure sub- 
mergence of a Venturi meter set 
vertically on the largest valve, 
which meter is capable of measur- 
ing the water entering the tunnel 
up to a rate of about 620 million 
gallons daily. The measurement 
of this flow, as well as of 
greater flows up to the capacity 
of the tunnel, over one billion 
gallons daily, into Wachusett 
Reservoir, will also be made at 
a Venturi meter placed near the 
top of Shaft 1 where the water 
is discharged from the tunnel 
into Wachusett Reservoir near 
Oakdale. The tunnel, when ex- 
tended to the Swift River, will 
be capable of carrying simultane- 
ously nearly an equal quantity 
from the Ware westward to be 
stored in the Swift River Reser- 
voir. The butterfly calves at 
the Ware River Intake Works are 
supported upon a heavy concrete 
floor at the bottom of the intake 
well and about 210 feet above the 


bottom of the tunnel. Water pas- 
ses through the valves which are 
set upon cast iron conduits, 
shaped like large nozzles, pass- 
ing through the concrete floor. 
These nozzles discharge water 
tangentially against the sides 
of the shaft at an angle of about 
30° with the horizontal. The 
sfyaft is about 19 feet in diame- 
ter and lined with cast iron 
with helical vanes or guides. 

River Reservoir, or both. 

During the week ending April 
4, 1931, the average diversion 
of Ware River water into Wachu- 
sett Reservoir was about 500 
million gallons daily. This 
means that about 24 tons of 
water were being dropped every 
second down the shaft. This 
quantity of water, with the fall 
in this shaft, would develop 
about 20,000 horsepower, but is 


The centrifugal action of the wa- 
ter thus established is maintained 
to the foot of the shaft where 
the remaining energy is dissipa- 
ted in the water in the tunnel 
or in the bottom of the shaft. 
No reservoir is needed upon 
the Ware River, as the tunnel 
has sufficient capacity to 
divert all but extraordinary 
floods into either the Wachu- 
sett or the proposed Swift 

worthless for such a purpose on 
account of irregularity of the 
flow and its concentration in 
short flood periods. 

A total of 12.8 billion gal- 
lons, or about one-fifth the 
capacity of the Wachusett Reser- 
voir, was diverted into the 
reservoir from March 21, 1931, 
when diversion first began, to 
June 14, 1931, when under the 
provisions prescribed by the 


War Department diversion ceased 
for the season. The diversion 
from the Ware River combined 
with the flow of the streams 
entering the Wachusett Reser- 
voir increased the available 
quantity stored in that reser- 
voir from about 11 billion gal- 
lons in February, 1931 (Wachu- 
sett Reservoir was then 45 feet 
below the normal flow line, the 
lowest in its history), to 47 
billion gallons, at which point 
the reservoir was only 6 feet 
below the normal flow line. 

From June 15 to October 15, 
inclusive, the War Department 
prescribes that no water may be 
diverted. Water was next avail- 
able for diversion on December 
23, 1931, and from December 23 
to date, May 25, 1932, 9,6 bil- 
lion gallons were diverted, mak- 
ing the total diversions of 
Ware River water into Wachusett 
Reservoir 22.4 billion gallons 
(the total capacity of the 
Wachusett Reservoir is 65 bil- 
lion gallons and the available 
capacity 55 billion gallons). 

The contract for the Cold- 
brook-Swift Tunnel, the exten- 
sion westerly to the Swift River 
Reservoir, was executed April 
23, 1931. Four shafts have been 
sunk, varying in depth from 
about 90 feet to about 410 feet, 
from which this tunnel is being 
driven. About 3-1/2 miles of 
tunnel have been excavated out 
of a total length of 10.4 miles. 
It is expected that this tunnel 
will be sufficiently advanced 
to permit the diversion of 
water from the Swift River into 
the Wachusett Reservoir early 
in 1935, should the needs of 
the Metropolitan Water District 
then require. 

A reservoir more than six 
times as large as the Wachusett 

Reservoir will be built in tl^ 
valley of the Swift River. The 
tunnel between the Ware River and 
the proposed Swift River Reser- 
voir may be used to divert Ware 
River water into either the Wa- 
chusett or Swift River reservoir 
or both, or to deliver Swift 
River water into the Wachusett 
Reservoir, the Ware River intake 
being about 260 feet higher than 
the Wachusett Reservoir and about 
116 feet higher than the proposed 
Swift River Reservoir. 

About 25,300 acres of land 
will be submerged by the Swift 
River Reservoir to an average 
depth of about 50 feet, the total 
capacity of the reservoir being 
about 415 billion gallons. About 
46,000 acres have been acquired 
or about 80% of the total area 
which will be needed for the re- 
servoir and its sanitary protec- 

A main dam and a dike of simi- 
lar design will be necessary, 
about 280 and 260 feet high re- 
spectively above the rock, and 
about 160 and 140 feet high above 
the earth at the lowest point in 
the valleys, each structure be- 
ing about 1/2 mile in length. 

Construction on the main dam 
of the Swift River Reservoir was 
begun under a contract executed 
August 1, 1931, for the stream 
control works. The water of the 
Swift River will be diverted 
through a tunnel under the hill- 
side forming the westerly abut- 
ment of the dam. After the dam 
is completed this tunnel will be 
plugged, openings with gates be- 
ing provided through the plug to 
regulate the flow down the river 
from the reservoir. 

Under a contract executed on 
September 16, 1931, an explora- 
tory caisson 90 feet in depth has 
been sunk at the main dam and the 


sinking ur a similar caisson 
120 feet in depth is in pro- 
gress at the dike. These cais- 
sons are of concrete , 32 feet 
long by 12 feet wide, and ex- 
tend from the surface of the 
ground to rock, the main pur- 
pose being to determine the 
character of the overlying ma- 
terial more exactly than can be 
determined by borings in order 
to facilitate the economic de- 
sign of these two structures. 

A contract was executed July 
20, 1931, for a new State high- 
way below the dam > 5.2 miles in 
length, forming a part of Route 
109 and connecting Ware with 
Belchertown. It is expected 
that the highway will be open 
to traffic during the summer 
of 1932. 

Work was begun during the 
latter part of 1931 upon a lay- 
out of a new cemetery, and this 
cemetery to which some 4,000 
bodies in various cemeteries in 
the area affected by the new 
reservoir may be moved, is now 
nearly ready for use. 

The Ware River, diverted 
into Wachusett Reservoir only, 
will add, in a series of dry- 
years, about 27 million gallons 
daily to the supply of the 
Metropolitan district, and with 
the completion of the tunnel 
to the Swift River, late in 
1934, a sufficient additional 

supply may be obtained by stor- 
ing Swift River water in the 
Wachusett Reservoir to meet the 
probable demands of the Metro- 
politan district for water un- 
til about 1941. The Swift 
River Reservoir construction 
should be sufficiently advanced 
in 1940 to permit storage of 
water to begin. 

The Ware and Swift river 
projects, when completed, will 
add about 194 million gallons 
daily to the dependable water 
supply of the Metropolitan Dis- 
trict which, together with the 
present sources of good quality, 
are estimated to be sufficient 
to meet the demands for water 
until about the year 1970. 

The legislation contemplated 
an expenditure of $65,900,000 
upon the work entrusted to the 
Commission, of which about 
$20,000,000 has already been 
spent . 

The works to be built by the 
Metropolitan District Water Sup- 
ply Commission will be turned 
over to the Metropolitan District 
Commission for operation and 
maintenance, and upon the comple- 
tion of the works the Metropoli- 
tan District Water Supply Com- 
mission will cease to exist. 




Outline of Metropolitan Water District 
shown thus 

Low Service Pipe Lines shown thus. 

High Service Pipe Lines shown thus. . 

Weston Aq. Supply Mains sh^vn thus. . 


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HAM iBE^NTp^^^^^^^^^^^^lft 

9.35 sq.MILES 



Area of Metropolitan Water District- 174 Sq. Mi. (Population 1,476,000) 

•• land owned or controlled =10642 Acres (Not including water surfaces; f§ll§l§ll 

<■ Wachusett Watershed = 108.84 Square Miles WESTBtfRW^ 

" Ware River _•• -__.98.00 •■ " 

*' Sudbury ji -. .75.20 " •• 

" " Cochituate •' -..17.58 •• » 

Storage Reservoirs = 9 

Total Water Surface. =..8615 Acres. 

„. . .. Capacity 80 Billion Gallons. 

Distribution Reservoirs ■= 12 

Total Capacity ■= 2.4 Billion Gallons 

Aqueducts 4 Total length - 60 Miles. 

Distribution Pipe Lines, Total length- 155 » ' «§§ 

» Pumping Stations, 5 = 6100 Horse Power. IuptdnA 

^ d ?^ tnC u P ° Wer " 2-^000 .. » (« m i lM P„ wrT ™ 51niaton Li n ., lUPT0N \ 

About 1500 Acres have been planted in connection with ftrestal work 

NEWTON '<&■'. { Br.lg hton 


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