Salem, MA Water Quality Report

Where Your Drinking Water Comes From

Salem and Beverly use approximately 3.5 billion gallons of drinking water per year. This water is drawn from the Ipswich River and three reservoirs: Wenham Lake Reservoir, Putnamville Reservoir and Longham Reservoir.

Beverly’s water mains have interconnections with Salem, Wenham, Danvers and Manchester. Salem’s water mains have interconnections with Beverly, Marblehead and Peabody.

The Board recognizes the practical and ecological importance of storing high winter and spring flows of the Ipswich River for use in summer when river flows are naturally low. During winter and spring, water is pumped from the Ipswich River to Putnamville Reservoir and/or Wenham Lake Reservoir for storage and use in summer. Water is not pumped from the river during summer. Similarly, Longham Reservoir augments Wenham Lake Reservoir.

Water Treatment and Distribution

Water from the Ipswich River and the 3 reservoirs is processed by a water filtration plant, operated 24 hours per day, 7 days per week by the Board. The plant removes naturally occurring impurities from the source water, as required by federal regulations and good public health practices, and delivers the water to pumping stations owned by the cities of Salem and Beverly. These pumping stations deliver drinking water to your home in pipes owned and maintained by each city water department.

Before water enters the filtered water reservoir that precedes the pumping stations, it is fluoridated. Fluoride is added to prevent tooth decay/cavities. To maintain corrosion control in the distribution pipes, the Board utilizes a phosphate additive that is designed to optimize corrosion control throughout the distribution system and minimize dissolved lead in the pipes and household plumbing.

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