Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
New England Massachusetts

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The first permanent European settlement in Massachusetts was at Plymouth, where the Mayflower arrived with Pilgrims in 1620.  Maine was a part of Massachusetts until it became a separate state in 1820, and aqueduct companies chartered under Massachusetts law are included in Maine page.

References
1799 An Act Allowing Proprietors of Aqueducts to Manage the Same.  February, 1799.  Allowed any number of individuals to form an Aqueduct Company by applying to a local Justice of the Peace.  The value of property owned by a company formed under this act could not exceed $30,000.  Prior to this, Aqueduct Companies could only be formed by an act of the General Court.

1870 An act to authorize cities and towns to purchase water-rights.  March 19, 1870.

1873 An act to dissolve certain corporations, June 2, 1873.

1876 "Water Supply," from Seventh Annual report of the State Board of Health of Massachusetts. January, 1876.  Includes data on aqueducts serving 46 communities in the Commonwealth. 

1907 An act to prevent waste of water in cities and towns supplied from the sources or works of the Metropolitan Water District.  June 15, 1907.  Required installation of water meters.

2016 Department of Public Utilities History, Prepared by Paul E. Osborne, Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, March 2016

2016 Water Franchise Areas in Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Prepared by Paul E. Osborne, Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, March 2016


Alphabetical
Amesbury
Arlington
Ashfield
Boston
Cambridge
Canton
Charlestown
Chelsea
Chicopee
Dedham
Egremont
Fitchburg
Grafton
Greenfield
Hancock
Harvard
Haverhill
Holland
Holyoke
Hopkinton
Ipswich
Kingston
Lancaster
Lenox
Lowell
Medfield
Medford
Milford
New Bedford
North Adams
Northampton
Northborough
Northfield
Oxford
Peabody
Pittsfield
Plainfield
Plymouth
Richmond
Salem
Somerville
South Lancaster
Southampton
Southbridge
Springfield
Stockbridge
Sunderland
Tyringham
Warren
West Brookfield
Weymouth
Wilbraham
Williamstown
Worcester
Wrentham

Chronological
1649 1 Boston
1709 * Northampton
1719 * Fitchburg
1754 2 Pittsfield
1790 * Northborough
1793 3 Northampton
1794 4 Northfield
1796 5 Dedham
1796 6 Greenfield
1796 7 Harvard
1796
Richmond
1796 8 Salem
1796
Stockbridge
1796 9 Sunderland
1797 10 Williamstown
1797 11 Lancaster
1797 12 Plymouth
1797
Wilbraham
1798 13 Worcester
1799 14 Arlington
1799
Amesbury
1799
Hopkinton
1799
Springfield
1799
Wrentham
1799 15 Peabody
1802 16
Medford
1803 17 Haverhill
1804 18 Kingston
1805 19 New Bedford
1806 20 Cambridge
1806 21 Medfield
1817 22 Plainfield
1818 23 Hancock
1820 24 Ashfield
1821 25
Weymouth
1824 26 Oxford
1825 27 Southampton
1825 28 Southbridge
1826 29 South Lancaster
1831 30 Stockbridge
1832 31 North Adams
1834
Holland
1835 32 Tyringham
1836 33 Canton
1837 34 Warren
1838 35
West Brookfield
1843 36 Springfield
1844 37 Chicopee
1844 38 Ipswich
1844 39 Milford
1845 40 Grafton
1849 41 Holyoke
1849 42 Lowell
1853
Chelsea
1853
Egremont
1854
Charlestown
1855 43 Wilbraham
1856 44 Fitchburg
1857
Lenox
1858 45 Somerville
1864 46 Charlestown
Note: The second column in the chronological table above shows the order in which systems were built in the state. Where no number is shown, a system was proposed but apparently not built.  A "*" indicates a notable system that apparently served only one family.


2017 Morris A. Pierce