In 1863 the City of New Bedford had enacted
the Acts of 1863, which authorized the taking and holding and conveyance by
steam or other power to, into and through the City by suitable aqueducts, or
pipes, from the waters of the Acushnet River.
On November 28, 1864 the Last Will and Testimony of Sylvia Ann
Howland bequeathed to the City of New Bedford the sum of One Hundred Thousand
Dollars to introduce water into the City of New Bedford. At the time she also
bequeathed One Hundred Thousand dollars to the City for the enlargement of the
Free Public Library.
The City of New Bedfords Water Supply is derived from five ponds located
in Lakeville and Rochester, MA. The ponds are: Assawampsett Pond, Great
Quittacas Pond, Long Pong, Pocksha Pond and Little Quittacas Pond.
There are 12,352 acres of watershed owned by the City of New Bedford around the
ponds. The City takes pride in its pristine care of this watershed, and in 2004
contracted with a Forester to groom and maintain the forest surrounding the
Great Watershed. In 2003 the City invested an additional $600,000 to purchase
a parcel of land near Bettys Neck adding a number of acres it currently
The treatment plant, located on Little Quittacas Pond is capable of treating
45,000,000 gallons of water daily. The water is pumped, treated and distributed
into the 283.4 miles of distribution pipes. The storage capacity at the High
Hill Reservoir is 67,000,000 gallons. The capacity at the Hathaway Road
elevated tank is 300,000 gallons.