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The dams that create large reservoirs of water are vital to our needs, so take very good care of them.

Dams are a vital component of WSSC Water's operations. Dams hold back water, creating reservoirs that provide a ready source of drinking water for you. Dams have been part of our operation since our first dam, Brighton Dam, went into service in 1944. That was followed a decade later by the T. Howard Duckett Dam, which went into service in 1954.

Brighton Dam

Both dams hold massive amounts of water in the reservoirs they created: the Brighton Dam, which spans the Patuxent River between Montgomery and Howard counties, has more than six billion gallons of water in the Triadelphia Reservoir. The Duckett Dam, which spans the Patuxent River between Prince George's and Howard counties, holds more than five billion gallons in the Duckett Reservoir.

Because of their age and their importance - each dam provides about 30 percent of the drinking water needed by our customers - the dams are carefully monitored, and serviced as needed. While ongoing maintenance is a regular occurrence, sometimes big repair jobs are needed to extend the life of the dams.


The gallons of water held in the reservoirs created by the Brighton Dam and the T. Howard Duckett Dam, respectively.

A major rehabilitation project on the Brighton Dam was completed not long ago, in December 2019. The work, which took just over two and a-half years, included replacing or repairing concrete on the dam's spillway and buttresses, adding structural strength to the gates that control water flow - and replacing rusted sections of the gates - and making repairs on the water intake towers.

The project also provided a major environmental benefit, by improving the temperature and oxygen levels of the water downstream from the dam, helping the Patuxent's fish habitat.

A portion of every customer's bill goes toward maintenance and repairs on infrastructure such as the Brighton and Duckett Dams, and our water treatment plants, water storage tanks and the pipelines that carry water and wastewater to and from your homes.

Learn about WSSC Water Dams and Reservoirs

Last Modified: February 12, 2021, 4:00 pm EST