Worcester, MA Water Quality Report

Where Your Drinking Water Comes From

Worcester obtains its drinking water from 10 surface water sources, or reservoirs, located outside of the City. The watershed for these reservoirs covers 40 square miles. In addition to these 10 active reservoirs, other sources of water supply remain inactive but could be used in the case of an emergency. These additional supplies include two wells and two reservoirs; the Coal Mine Brook Well on Lake Ave North in Worcester and the Shrewsbury Well off Holden Street in Shrewsbury, the Wachusett Reservoir and the Quabbin Aqueduct.

A small area around Mountain Street West is supplied with water purchased from the Town of Holden. This area includes Mountain Street West from #157 to the Holden line (including Stratton Hill Apartments), Maravista Road, Maranook Road, Wendover Road, and the first 500 feet of Lanesboro Road Relocated. These residents will receive a similar Water Quality Report from the Town of Holden.

Water Treatment

Protecting our water sources is not enough to assure that your tap water is safe to drink. All drinking water, including bottled water, begins as rainfall or snowmelt. As this water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally-occurring minerals and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity. Although some of these substances and contaminants will be removed or reduced by natural processes upon reaching a water supply, additional contaminants might directly enter the open waters of the supply.

The first barrier of protection for any water supply system is to have clean sources of water. To protect a surface water supply one must control the land within the watershed surrounding the supply. Worcester has maintained very strict control over the land it holds for water supply protection. However, not all of the land in Worcester’s watershed is owned or controlled by the City. On some of those privately owned lands activities occur that could pose a threat to water quality in the reservoirs.

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