Cycle to the Source Cambridge Watershed Bike Tour

2013 Cycle to the Source Group Photo

The first annual Cycle to the Source Cambridge Watershed Bike Tour was held on October 19, 2013, from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm. The tour attendance was 19 participants, 4 CWD staff, and 3 Urban AdvenTours staff. Starting at the Water Purification Facility, the 32 mile tour route followed the Minuteman Bike Path to Route 2A in Lexington, then down through the watershed to stops at the Paul Revere Capture Site, CWD Field Office, Winter Street Dam and Gatehouse, and Stony Brook Dam and Gatehouse. Urban AdvenTours staff gave brief history presentations of historically significant events that happened in the watershed at a few of the stops. At the CWD properties, Watershed staff gave presentations and answered questions specific to the Water Department and Watershed Division, covering where Cambridge water comes from, how it is collected, and what steps and precautions the Department takes to ensure its safety.

For pictures from the tour, check out the Cycle to the Source 2013 Photo Gallery, or visit the Urban AdvenTours Flickr page: Cycle to the Source Flikr Page To see stats from the route, check out the Urban AdvenTours Garmin page: Cycle to the Source Garmin Page Tour MapsCycle to the Source Proposed Bike Route

Didn't make it to the tour or want to check out the route yourself? Download the KML file for viewing in Google Earth or to download to your GPS unit:

Cycle to the Source KML File

But wait, where does our water actually come from?

Cambridge drinking water is collected from our watershed: a region of land spreading across Lincoln, Lexington, Weston, and Waltham. Rainwater that falls within the boundaries of the watershed is carried through a series of tributaries that flow into the Hobbs Brook and Stony Brook Reservoirs. The larger reservoir, Hobbs Brook, serves as Cambridge’s main source of water during the summer and fall. Water is released from the Hobbs Brook Dam into Hobbs Brook, which joins Stony Brook in Weston and travels to the Stony Brook Reservoir, located along the Weston-Waltham town line. From there, water flows by gravity through an underground conduit (a large pipe) to Fresh Pond in Cambridge, where it is pumped into the Water Purification Facility for treatment. The finished (purified) water is pumped to the covered Payson Park reservoir in Belmont, from where it is gravity-fed to the residents and businesses of Cambridge, MA.