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Water Treatment

City of Worcester Water Treatment Plant in front of Trees Looking Across the Holden Reservoir

In 1984, the City of Worcester began planning to protect, preserve and expand its supply of potable water. The Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1986 dictated that all surface water supplies must use filtration to treat drinking water if they cannot meet highly stringent water quality and reliability criteria.

The new filtration plant was designed to be environmentally and aesthetically compatible with its natural setting. Pretreatment, combined with direct filtration through a deep-bed anthracite filter, were the most effective and economical water treatment processes for Worcester.

Worcester’s Water Treatment Facts

  • Plant Flow - 50 Million Gallons Per Day (MGD)
  • Reservoir System - The treatment plant utilizes a series of ten surface water reservoirs located in Leicester, Paxton, Rutland, Holden and Princeton. The ten reservoirs combined, hold over 7 billion gallons of water.
  • Treated Water Storage - Two, 2.75-million-gallon storage tanks.

Worcester's primary source of drinking water is derived from Worcester's Lynde Brook Reservoir and the Holden reservoir system. The preozonation process treats the water with ozone, a powerful disinfectant. The water then goes through coagulation via a rapid mix process to treat organic materials, and then flocculation to form floc particles which can be filtered out. Next, the water is filtered, treated to control corrosion and finally given post-disinfection treatment by chlorine. 


How Worcester Works - Water Filtration Plant

City Manager Ed Augustus takes a tour of the Water Treatment Plant in Holden to find out how water goes from the city's reservoirs to your tap.

Contact Information

Customer Service
76 East Worcester Street
Worcester, MA 01604

Accessible via WRTA Bus Line. View Schedules

Phone: 508-929-1300
Fax: 508-799-1448
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Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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