MWRA Online Logo

MWRA Writing Contest Winners 2005-2006
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

2nd Place Winner, Grades 3-5

Saidhbhe Berry, Grade 5
St. Mary of the Hills School
Milton, MA

> Go back to MWRA.COM home
> Go back to MWRA School Programs main page
> Go to Poster Contest Winners
left arrow - go to previous essay up arrow - to main essay page right arrow
Previous essay Main essay page Next essay

The Way The Water Flows

Drip, drop, splash, drip, splash. “Turn the tap off,” says my dad, “don't waste water.” How do you waste water? When you turn on the tap, isn't the water automatically there? No, actually, it takes a while for water to get to your tap. Let me tell you that Massachusetts' water has to go through. You will be quite surprised. I sure was.

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) is in charge of our water. The MWRA runs the water through a long process that makes sure clean water gets to our taps. First, water falls to the ground as rain, snow, or hail. This water runs into streams that flow to one of two reservoirs; either the Quabbin Reservoir, or the Wachusett Reservoir. On its way to the reservoirs, the water runs through soil, rocks, plants, and other things that you would think would make it dirty, but those materials actually help clean it.

The water from the Quabbin Reservoir enters the Wachusett Reservoir and stays there for about eight months. It is then drawn off in Clinton where electrical power is produced as water enters and leaves the reservoir. The MWRA has water treatment plants in different places around the state, such as Marlborough and Southborough. At these water treatment plants, chemicals are put in the water to make the water safe to drink and to prevent contamination as the water runs through the pipes. The MWRA also puts fluoride in the water to help us have healthy teeth. They are very kind to care about our teeth when they have all that water to deal with!

After leaving the water treatment plants, the clean water travels through the Metro west Water Supply Tunnel to covered tanks. Then, the water goes into different pipes that eventually bring it to our homes. Now that you know what happens to the water before it reaches your tap, have you ever thought about what people had to go through so that you can get your water?

There were once 4 other towns in Massachusetts. They were called Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott. To create the Quabbin Reservoir, the four towns were evacuated and flooded between 1939 and 1946. Before the area was flooded, the towns and houses were destroyed, ripped down, and burned. The people in the four towns were moved to other towns in the area. Even the bodies in the cemeteries were dug up and moved to new burial places. Only the Native America bodies were left in peace. Not all the people who lived in Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott were happy about the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir. Even today, some people who used to live in these towns go back to the reservoir to remember the old times when the towns were alive. Also, seven other towns were revised to help with the making of the reservoir. Do you think that was a lot of work for one little reservoir? Well, actually the Quabbin Reservoir is huge. It can hold 412 billion gallons of water and when it was created, it was the biggest man-made reservoir in the world. Isn't that amazing?

Well, the water is not going to be dripping uselessly anymore, at least not from my tap. Considering what people have gone through and what the MWRA has to do to clean the water, I will do my best never to waste water again. With all that happens to the water before it gets to my tap, the last thing it needs is to be wasted. To save the water that the MWRA cleans, we should all try to turn off faucets while brushing our teeth, only turn on the dishwasher and washing machine when they are full, and only run the garbage disposal when you really need to. Doing these things will save us money and help conserve water. I hope you decide to try to conserve the water that comes out of your tap. I am positive the water will appreciate it!

back to top