Bradford City Water Authority

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The Watershed
Supplying the Bradford Area for over 135 Years!
From the time for the original purchase of a small privately-owned water system in 1881 to the present, the water system serving the City of Bradford and surrounding area has become a well-established regional water system providing some of the purest water in the State to over 5,000 area customer connections.

Continually exceeding EPA and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection standards, the Bradford City Water Authority Water Treatment Plant distributes over 4 million gallons of high quality pure water to these customers on a daily basis.


Bradford City Water Authority is unique in the fact that the Authority owns and controls the 12,000 acres that comprise the watershed.  These 12,000 acres of forested land produce over 325,000 gallons of water for every inch of rainfall.  Before this water reaches your home it enters the Water Treatment Plant from the watershed and is processed through a state-of-the-art filtering system and monitored 24 hours per day - every day of the year.


Three water supply reservoirs totaling over one billion gallons in upland reserves serve the Bradford water system:

1 - Gilbert Reservoir - 206 Million Gallons - Constructed 1888
2 - Marilla Reservoir - 120 Million Gallons - Constructed 1898
3 - Heffner Reservoir - 760 Million Gallons - Constructed 1956


Primary focus of stewardship is maintaining the continuing water producing capability of the watershed.  Secondary focus is management of the watershed’s vast hardwood forest and preservation of fish and wildlife habitat.  Third, allow limited shared use of the watershed for recreational activity.




A.  Hunting on the watershed is not only permitted, but is encouraged.
      Ample populations of deer, turkey, and a variety of   small game
      inhabit the watershed.
B.  Fishing - The Marilla Reservoir is available for public fishing under a   
      cooperative program with the Pennsylvania Fish Commission.
      Periodic trout stocking occurs to provide year-around fishing enjoyment.

The Bradford City Water Authority has three surface water reservoirs that serve the Bradford Water System. Marilla and Gilbert Reservoirs are open to public use.  Recreational activities such as trail walking/hiking, canoeing/kayaking, and fishing are permitted at our Marilla Reservoir and these activities are being developed for future use at Gilbert Reservoir.  (Fires, camping, swimming, littering and ATV’s are prohibited throughout the watershed and all reservoirs). 

However, the Heffner Reservoir on West Corydon Street is the primary water source and has always been restricted to public use for the safety of both the reservoir and the public.
We want to remind everyone that the following activities are prohibited at this reservoir:

Fires of any kind   *   Camping    *   Swimming   *   Littering   *   Boating   *   Fishing

All-terrain vehicles   *    Any unauthorized vehicles

Please observe these rules for your safety and the safety of our community’s primary drinking water source.

We encourage you to visit Marilla and Gilbert Reservoirs that are open to public for recreational use, your experience will be enjoyable.


A healthy and stable forest is necessary to ensure the long-term viability of the watershed.
A.  Timber of a variety of species is selectively harvested.
B.  Regeneration of the forest is aided by a multi-faceted program including: New plantings, Tubex tree shelters, Fence
      enlosures, Fern control, and harvesting techniques that encourage natural regeneration.
C.  Portions of the forest remain totally untouched to allow nature to provide natural regeneration.


A minimum of 10% of all monies generated by the watershed are utilized to fund the regeneration forest projects.


Exploration of minerals (oil & gas) supplement the regeneration fund to protect the long-term water producing capability of the watershed.