Reservoir Expansion

Hingham Street Reservoir Expansion and Environmental Impact Report

The Hingham Street Reservoir was created over a 10-year period to become one of the principal water sources for the towns of Abington and Rockland. Both communities were limited in growth by the inadequacy of groundwater and surface water potential. In the mid 1960s, Weston & Sampson, working closely with the Board of Water Commissioners, developed an area with a high water table as a gravel pit. Excavation was initially carried to the maximum feasible depth (25 to 30 feet) in the wet by drag line. A high capacity dewatering system was later used to lower the water table so that excavation could continue in the dry. Virtually all the material excavated was sold at a profit. Over a 10-year period, a reservoir with a capacity in excess of one hundred million gallons was created. During this period, a new treatment plant was constructed to treat the water from the new reservoir.

In response to the growing demand for water supply in the towns of Abington and Rockland, the Board of Water Commissioners selected Weston & Sampson to investigate ways to increase the safe yield of the supply. The recommended plan involved the expansion of the existing reservoir by excavating an additional 1.1 million cubic yards of earth and removing it from the site. This expansion will increase the safe yield of the existing reservoir from 0.2 to 0.4 million gallons per day. The expansion required the destruction of two acres of wetland, which required extensive environmental reviews and alternatives analyses. An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) incorporated a number of resource protection and restoration measures.

The approved design included a three-acre replicated wetland and a stream diversion structure. Permitting for the project included:

  • Notice of Intent
  • Gravel and Fill Removal Permit
  • Environmental Notification Form (ENF) and EIR
  • 401 Water Quality Certificate
  • Variance from the Wetland Protection Act, including design of wetland replication area Section 404 Permit
  • Water Management Act Permit


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