A Look at Where MDC Gets Your Water

From Bloomfield to Rocky Hill, the Metropolitan District Commission provides quality water to eight municipalities across the state, all coming from the largest drinking water reservoir in Connecticut.

“We don’t release water from the drinking water reservoir, the purpose of the drinking water reservoir is to retain and compound the water,” says Scott Jellison, CEO of the Metropolitan District Commission. “And obviously during a drought you don’t want to release drinking water from the reservoir.”

Aerial video taken Tuesday morning shows the 30 billion gallons of drinking water currently at 75.46 percent of capacity. The only place water from the Barkhamstead dam goes is through pipes located in the gatehouse all the way to the water treatment facilities located in both West Hartford and Bloomfield solely driven by gravity.

“The benefit to our customers is we don’t have to pay to pump that water, and 99 percent of our customers get the water from gravity flow,” explains Jellison.

For the small percentage of customers in Farmington that live at higher elevations, their water gets delivered through a pump. Once at its designated facility, the treatment process begins.

“The primary difference between Reservoir 6 and West Hartford is that this, the Reservoir 6 plant employs the chemical process whereas West Hartford filters is a slow sand facility and it’s a biological filtration process,” explains Raymond Baral, Assistant Manager of Water Treatment for the MDC.

While the method may vary, there is no change in water quality from the two plants - the primary difference is that Reservoir 6 can filter at a higher rate.

In total, the MDC treats on average 50 million gallons of water per day. However, having come from the Barkhamstead reservoir - which is surrounded by 33 thousand acres of watershed land that naturally filters the water - not much treatment is necessary to reach class a water status.

Baral explains, “We have a number of turbidimeters throughout our entire treatment process every phase of the treatment process is being monitored- the turbidity, PH, chlorine, and also we’re checking the ionic charge of the water in our coagulation process which helps us optimize that process and can actually save us money on chemical cost.”

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