Hidden Hydraulics at the Dam

Upper Gate House

Pipes Through the Dam

Have you ever wondered what is inside the dam or what happens to all that water once it has been collected?

That large box that can be seen about halfway across the dam and protruding into the reservoir, called the Upper Gate Chamber by the engineers, is the intake structure for the entry of the water into the system and a lot happens in there. 

What is perceived as a calm water surface soon turns into a fast moving torrent, secured within a system of wells and giant cast iron pipes, to be delivered safely at a very high pressure to the Lower Gate Chamber. 

The system cannot be seen, though, because it all happens either below the surface of the reservoir or embedded inside the (and through) the dam.

This episode of the series, Hidden Hydraulics, details the path of the water as it enters and is led through the solid structure of the dam and delivered to the powerhouse far below.

Trust me, that’s a lot of water that flows through there.





The Upper Gate Chamber as seen from the dam entrance (Boylston Street)


The Upper Gate Chamber as seen from the Waste Channel (a bit offshore)

Pipes Through the Dam

This is my writeup on the Upper Gate Chamber. Find a special Engineer’s Corner near the end of the report.



Upper Gate House (short version)

The Collector Well (top to bottom)

Upper Gate House (long version)

The Entire Path (end to end)

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