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Norumbega Covered Storage Facility
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

MWRA has constructed a 115-million gallon, below ground, covered facility in Weston to replace the existing 205-million gallon "open" Norumbega Reservoir. It came on-line on May 6, 2004.

Contractors are currently performing some final construction tasks at the site. See the Project Status Report for details.

The covered reservoir protects treated drinking water quality before distribution to over 2 million people in 35 cities and towns in the Metropolitan Boston area.

The new storage facility is fed water from the MetroWest Water Supply Tunnel through an onsite shaft rising 400'. The 17.6 mile tunnel delivers treated water from the new Walnut Hill Treatment Plant.

The Norumbega Covered Storage Facility is one of five MWRA covered storage tanks to replace 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. The reinforced concrete Norumbega storage tank is one of the largest in the country.


MWRA will maintain the open Norumbega Reservoir as an emergency water supply. Currently, all public access to Norumbega Reservoir and its actual watershed is prohibited. The Weston Working Group Public Access Subcommittee has been established to provide input on future public access at Norumbega Reservoir.


In November 1997, Governor A. Paul Cellucci signed legislation authorizing MWRA to use design-build construction procurement for the Norumbega Covered Storage Project. This method engages a single contractor in the design and construction of a facility, rather than separate design and construction contractors. The design-build firm that MWRA procured for the $89 million Norumbega Covered Storage Project is Norumbega Constructors, a joint venture of J.F. White Constructing Company and Slattery Skanska, Inc., with Metcalf & Eddy and Weidlinger Associates as major participants.

See also: Design/Build at Norumbega


During the early planning stage of the Norumbega Covered Storage Project, MWRA, in cooperation with the Weston Board of Selectman, established the Norumbega Working Group. The Working Group’s members represent a variety of town boards and neighborhoods; they tackled difficult design and procedural issues.MWRA, committed to addressing community concerns and mitigating project related impacts, has promoted a consensus form of decision making. This project was greatly improved as a result of this collaboration.


Detailed information on environmental impacts and proposed mitigation is provided in the February 1995 DEIR, prepared by Camp Dresser & McKee Inc. If you would like additional information, please contact MWRA Public Affairs: (617) 788-1170.

Latest progress photo
(Larger Image)

Project Status as of
December 30, 2004

  • Project is 96.4% complete.

  • Continue repair of VV#1 joint.

  • Placing fill and grading around site.

  • Working on punch list items for Milestones 1 and 2.
Detailed Progress Report (PDF)



  • Finished tank will be 17 acres, 25 feet deep and will hold 116 million gallons of water

  • New tank elevation: 280 feet above Boston

  • Tank Completion: 12/03

  • Final site work: 12/04

  • Cost: $89 million

  • 98,000 cubic yards of blasted rock excavated

  • 200,000 cubic yards of imported fill used

  • 108,000 cubic yards of concrete poured

  • Owner's Representative: Malcolm Pirnie

  • Design/Build Contractor: Norumbega Constructors (joint venture of J.F. White Construction Co. and Slattery Skanska)

View Larger Image

Rev. March 6, 2006 2:25 PM
To larger image Norumbega Photo - enlarge