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Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
June 17, 2009

Ria Convery, Communications Director
(617) 788-1105, <>

MWRA Mourns the Loss of William A. Brutsch
Longtime Waterworks Director

On Monday, June 15, 2009, Bill Brutsch passed away after a battle with cancer.

Mr. Brutsch began his career with the Metropolitan District Commission in 1970 as a Mechanical Engineer, after serving in the Air Force for four years. During that time, he worked on a number of important projects, including the Cottage Farm CSO facility and pumps at Spot Pond, Hyde Park, and Chestnut Hill Pump Stations. He also designed flood control pumps at Mystic River and Broad Sound. In 1978, he became a Professional Engineer and was promoted to Assistant to the Chief Engineer.

In spring 1981, the MDC reorganized to split all engineering/construction functions into operating divisions and Bill became Director of Program Management in the Water Division. In 1982, Bill became Acting Director of the Water Division and Chief Water Supply Engineer, later appointed to the position permanently.

After the creation of the MWRA, Bill was appointed as Director of Waterworks Division in 1986. Although people often focus on the clean-up of Boston Harbor as the reason the MWRA was created, the Waterworks system has also suffered from underfunding for many years. During the agency’s first ten years, the foundations were laid for the modernization of one of the country’s great water systems, under Bill’s steadfast leadership.

Since then, the nearly $2 billion program including a new, redundant 17.6-mile aqueduct, a state-of-the-art water treatment plant, covered water storage facilities around the service area, and newly cleaned and lined pipelines have been built to ensure clean, safe and reliable drinking water for over 2.3 million people in 50 communities and for generations to come.

Bill also leaves another important legacy for the water system. He spearheaded a water conservation program in the early 1990s, which eliminated the need for new source development, and has resulted in a decline in daily of over 120 million gallons per day. He also began the automation of critical water system operations and the development of a strong maintenance program. This lead to the development of a skilled and dedicated work force that is recognized nationally for leadership in all areas of work. Bill was also recognized as a national leader in the water industry. He served as Chair of New England Water Works Association Technical Program Committee for 8 years and was a Past President of Massachusetts Society of Professional Engineers. He was also a member of Board of Directors of Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies for 8 years, and received numerous awards from many organizations.

In May 2000, Bill was appointed as MWRA’s first Deputy Chief Operating Officer. He retired from MWRA in March 2002.

Mr. Brutsch leaves his wife Carol, his children – Dave and his wife Stefanie, and Melissa and her husband Ted Stravopoulos. He also leaves his grandchildren, Devin and Nicole Stravopoulas.

Fittingly, Bill will be buried at the Quabbin Park Cemetery, by the shores of the great waters he cared so much for.

Rest in peace, Bill.


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Updated November 3, 2014