Water Supply Status

This page contains information about the city’s water supply which includes a description of the source water system and items relative to any ongoing water restrictions.  Information on water conservation can be found on the city’s water conservation webpage.

Normal  Watch  Warning   Emergency Critical 
Less than 5%
reduction in
supply capacity
Between 5% and
10% reduction in
supply capacity
Between 10% and
20% reduction in
supply capacity
Between 20% and
35% reduction in
supply capacity
Greater than 35%
reduction in
supply capacity
Shaded block indicates current local drought stage - updated 2-2-2023

For information regarding water use restrictions please refer to Chapter 250 of Haverhill's Ordinances.

 System Description

The public water supply for the City of Haverhill is obtained through a system of surface water supply reservoirs with Kenoza Lake being the terminal reservoir.  This is where water is withdrawn and treated in the city’s water treatment plant prior to being pumped into the water distribution system for delivery to water customers.

The primary series of water supply reservoirs for Haverhill’s water supply is Kenoza Lake, Millvale Reservoir, Crystal Lake, Round Pond, and Winnekenni Basin.  This system of reservoirs has a State
permitted withdrawal of 7.1 million gallons per day averaged over the course of the entire year.

Haverhill also has a series of registered emergency water supply reservoirs.  The emergency system consists of Johnson Pond, Chadwick Pond, and Hovey’s Pond.  While these supplies were once an integral part of the city’s water supply they were removed from primary supply service in 1980.  As a result of the city’s 2003 Water Management Act permit, Johnson Pond was removed as an active source by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). Any future use of this emergency system would require authorization from the MassDEP as well as the use of portable rental water treatment units.

The next generation of Haverhill’s water supply lies in groundwater withdrawn from a well or series of wells drilled into the sand and gravel deposits along and under the Merrimack River.  Preliminary water supply study efforts have considered utilizing the city’s existing emergency sources but the most feasible and cost effective option is to develop a high yielding ground water supply.  On May 29, 2012 the City Council approved an Order that accepted the recommendation of Mayor Fiorentini’s Water Supply Committee to advance work on a ground water supply.  Since that authorization the city has been working on exploring various sites along the riverbank and is in the process of preparing to construct a large diameter test well that can eventually be transitioned to a public water supply well once all applicable testing and permitting is complete.  This new ground water supply would be incorporated into the city’s existing primary water supply reservoir system and eventually be utilized to increase the daily withdrawal limit of 7.1 million gallons per day.  Download our project summary document for more detail on this water supply project.