Worcester's Water Resources

Worcester's Water Resources

What We Do Today

The Department of Public Works & Parks (DPW&P) manages a complex network of water resource systems. These include the storage, treatment and delivery of safe drinking water, as well as the collection and conveyance of wastewater and stormwater. Homeowners, business owners and the City's world-class health care and biotech industries count on us for daily water needs.

8 Billions Gallon of Clean Water

We manage critical systems, such as:

  • 10 drinking water reservoirs
  • 30 dams
  • 1 drinking water filtration plant
  • 1,285 miles of pipe
  • 16,000 catch basins
  • 349 stormwater discharge outfalls

Our essential services help protect your health and the environment. They support Worcester's economy and continued growth. They include:

  • Treating and delivering 8 billion gallons of safe drinking water each year.
  • Transporting wastewater to the Upper Blackstone Treatment Plant for treatment.
  • Managing stormwater to improve receiving water quality and reduce flooding.
  • Protecting rivers, lakes and ponds that you use for recreation from pollution.

How We're Planning for the Future

Approximately one-third of Worcester's wastewater and stormwater systems were built before 1900! These systems need to be updated to avoid service interruptions, meet residential and economic growth needs and to protect the environment. The rising cost of sewage treatment means more of our sewer budget goes to the Upper Blackstone Treatment Plant - from 18% in 2000 to 46% in 2017...an almost 400% increase in sewer rates. This is unsustainable for us and you - our ratepayers.

Rate increases can be managed through long-term planning. We are developing a long-term plan to prioritize investments in our complex water systems for the next 50 years. The solutions will be cost-effective and provide the most benefit to our residents, businesses and the environment. This approach is called an Integrated Water Resources Management Plan (or Integrated Plan).

With it we can:

  • Plan ahead to maintain high quality services
  • Address multiple demands and needs
  • Minimize impacts on the water and sewer rates you pay
  • Protect your health and quality of life
  • Advance both community and environmental benefits
  • Foster continued economic growth


Want to learn more?

Clean Worcester Waters

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Worcester 311
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8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Phone: 311
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