Wachusett Dam & Reservoir

The Open Channel

Section 11

Completed section of the open channel 

Section 11  

Open Channel


In the final leg of its journey to the Sudbury Reservoir the Nashua River water, having passed nine miles through a rock tunnel, arched masonry aqueduct and a bridge over a river, entered an open channel.

The channel was created by dredging, straightening and widening three miles of an existing brook. The work seemed to be straight forward and relatively simple but problems with swamps, heavy rainfall, the ever present rock ledge and a channel filled with large boulders and slowed progress.

The schedule was eventually saved by the relatively small percentage of stone masonry (small bridges and dams) being completed in the fair weather of 1897 and the aggressive pursuit of the remaining excavation all through the following winter.

The entire Wachusett Aqueduct was put into full service on March 8, 1898 and from that date forward the conditions of the Metropolitan Water Act were met and the metropolitan area received its 300 million gallons of water daily.

It had taken just eight months of design and two years of construction to alleviate an impending clean water crisis.




Private road stone bridge

Lower Dam (Deersfoot Road)

Upper Dam


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