One Reservoir, More Than 130 Years of History

Waban Hill Reservoir's Role in Newton's Water System

Newton undertook the creation of a municipal water system almost immediately after converting from town to city government in 1873. The Waban Hill Reservoir was the first major project for the new system.
Newton joined the metropolitan Boston sewer system in the late 19th century but relied largely on its own municipal system for a supply of clean water until it joined the water supply part of the metropolitan system in the 1950s. The sources below summarize this history.


from S. F. Smith's History of Newton (excerpt on Newton's first few years as a city, including creation of the water system)


deed transferring the Manet Road/Waban Hill Reservoir from City of Newton to Boston Metropolitan Water Board (for $60,000)


history of Newton's water & sewer systems, from website of the Jackson Homestead/Historic Newton 


section on Newton's water and sewer systems highlighted from "Landscaping the Garden City: Transportation, Utilities, and Parks in Newton, Massachusetts, 1874-1915," by John H. Spiers (Boston College), Historical Geography vol. 39

November 2015 

Waban Hill Reservoir History, handout prepared by Historic Newton for site ribbon cutting, with assistance from the Waterworks Museum at the nearby Chestnut Hill Reservoir (Brighton, MA)