Norumbega Reservoir is a high-level equalizing reservoir that is used to maintain a constant flow of water in the Hultman Aqeduct. The main basin (Norumbega Reservoir) was created by construction of five earthen dikes and has an area of about 50 acres and a capacity of 150 million gallons. Shenk’s Pond, which serves as a trim weir, is a smaller basin, some 21 feet lower than the reservoir proper, that was developed in a natural pond of that name.
Between the two basins is an earthen dike, on which is located a granite, concrete, and steel gatehouse designed by the Boston firm of Densmore, LeClear and Robbins, that contains screens and a chlorination facility. A chlorine storage building is located on the south edge of Schenck’s Pond. The reservoir area is naturalistically landscaped with conifers.
The Norumbega Reservoir Area was documented in 1985 by Louis Berger and Associates. For more information, please view the Norumbega Reservoir Area Form (PDF).
Norumbega Reservoir is an integral part of the Hultman Aqueduct, built 1938-1940 to bypass the Sudbury Reservoir and Aqueduct. The aqueduct is now part of a pressure system extending from Wachusett Reservoir into Boston and adjacent communities. Norumbega Reservoir is the central point for chlorination in the water supply systems. Screens in the gatehouse are used to filter out debris and fish that may be carried in the aqueduct from Wachusett Reservoir. Hultman Aqueduct was built under the authority of the Metropolitan District Water Supply Commission by contractor Carlo Bianchi and Co, Framingham.
- Metropolitan District Water Supply Commission Annual Report 14 (1939): 31
- Kennison, Karl R., “The Hydraulics of the New Pressure Aqueduct of the Metropolitan Water District,” Journal of the Boston Society of Civil Engineers 29 (1942): 1-23