Wachusett Dam & Reservoir

Wachusett Dam & Aqueduct

The Metropolitan Water Act  of 1895

Aqueduct route – Wachusett Reservoir to Sudbury Reservoir

Wachusett Aqueduct – Clinton to Southborough

Time was of the Essence

It is anticipated that the Nashua-Sudbury Aqueduct will be completed and one main pipe line laid to the Mystic system and Spot Pond within the period of two years so that at the end of that period, without waiting for the completion of the dam at Clinton the waters of the south branch of the Nashua River may be diverted, conducted to the new reservoir in Southborough, afforded a sufficient storage there, and thence furnished to those portions of the metropolitan district which seem in most pressing need of an additional supply of water.

                           Annual Report of the Metropolitan Water Board, 1895

At the time the Metropolitan Water Act of 1895 was passed, the legislators had included language to the effect that the provision of water to the metropolitan area to alleviate an impending critical shortage was to be given top priority.

A principal feature of the work to be performed under the requirements of the Act was the Nashua Aqueduct built to convey the Nashua River waters from the dam at Clinton to the head of the reservoir known as the Sudbury system in the town of Southborough

The aqueduct embraced four very specialized types of heavy construction:

  (1) A tunnel, principally through hard rock

  (2) An arched masonry aqueduct 

  (3) A bridge carrying the aqueduct over the Assabet River.

  (4) An open channel following the course of an existing brook.

Mostly out of sight and practically invisible for most of its twelve mile length it was designed to deliver 300 million gallons per day of much needed, pure Nashua River water to metropolitan system.

The path of the Nashua River water on its journey through the Wachusett Aqueduct between the two reservoirs will be presented separately below. Each of the four phases of the construction, and the contractors who performed them, will be examined in detail.

Sections 2 & 3

Hard rock tunnel

Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 & 10

Masonry Aqueduct

Section 8

Assabet Bridge

Section 11

Open Channel

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