Overview – Water Division
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 Bedford’s Water Supply is derived from five ponds located in Lakeville and Rochester, MA. The ponds are: Assawampsett Pond, Great Quittacas Pond, Long Pond, 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 Betty’s Neck adding a number of acres it currently owns.
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.