Highland Reservoir Liner Project

The City of Rochester is performing work at Highland Reservoir to comply with an Environmental Protection Agency drinking water regulation.

Project Background and Funding

In September 2006, the City of Rochester commissioned a study to identify and evaluate alternative methods to meet new regulations enacted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The new Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (LT2ESWTR) is designed to improve water quality to the country’s uncovered drinking water reservoirs. The $3 million Highland Reservoir Liner project is the first of three phases of necessary improvements identified for the city to comply with LT2 requirements. Phases two and three will include the installation of a liner and floating cover on Rush Reservoir and the addition of UV disinfection at Cobbs Hill and Highland reservoirs. The total program is estimated to cost $23.5 million.

Find out more about the City's LT2 program.

Why the work is being done at Highland Reservoir

  • Comply with new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency drinking water regulations (specifically LT2ESWTR)
  • Comply with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation dam safety requirements related to reservoir safety
  • Improve drinking water quality

What the work will achieve at Highland Reservoir

  • Repair and re-grade reservoir interior
  • Restore existing historic structures
  • Install new piping to improve reservoir quality
  • Construct 2,000 linear feet of concrete anchor wall
  • Add emergency overflow and low level outlet to comply with dam safety requirements
  • Install 275,000 sq ft of new waterproof liner
  • Construction will be substantially completed by the City's engineering consultant, Malcolm Pirnie, Inc. in November 2010


If you have more questions on the project, email Mr. Michael Bushart, project engineer in the Department of Environmental Services/Water Bureau.