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Norumbega Covered Storage Topping Off Ceremony
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

Norumbega Tank Aerial View
Norumbega Tank Aerial View

On May 6, MWRA celebrated the successful completion of the MetroWest Water Supply Tunnel and the Norumbega Covered Storage facility. These projects are part of MWRA's Integrated Water Supply Improvement Program.

The 115-million gallon, below ground covered drinking water storage facility in Weston has replaced the existing 'open' Norumbega Reservoir.

The open Norumbega Reservoir did not adequately protect the drinking water and did not comply with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. The covered reservoir now protects treated drinking water quality before distribution to over 2 million people in 40 cities and towns in the metropolitan Boston area.

The Norumbega Covered storage facility is one of five MWRA covered storage tanks that have replaced open distribution reservoirs and provide necessary distribution storage for peak demands and emergency service. Storing water in covered tanks increases protection against potential contamination by airborne pathogens, wildlife and algae and is far more secure than the open reservoir. The reinforced concrete Norumbega storage tank is the largest in the country.

The $93 million new storage facility is MWRA's largest design/build project and is fed from the MetroWest Water Supply Tunnel through an on-site shaft that rises 400 feet. The first two of three cells were partially brought on-line in November, 2003. The last cell will be brought on-line in the coming months.