Source Water Quality Monitoring Program

Given the City’s lack of ownership and control of most watershed lands, water quality monitoring is a necessary and effective means of identifying sources of pollution and tracking water quality changes over time. The Watershed Division relies on the sound scientific information gathered from the monitoring program to guide its watershed management practices. 

The primary goal of the Cambridge Source Water Quality Monitoring Program is to ensure that water withdrawn from Fresh Pond Reservoir for treatment is as free as possible from contaminants, thereby minimizing the costs of treatment and protecting overall water quality. Specific objectives of the program are to:

  • Monitor the condition of source waters in the Cambridge drinking water supply system;
  • Determine where, when, and how water quality conditions are changing over time;
  • Identify actual and potential problems related to source water quality; 
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of programs designed to prevent or remediate water quality problems;
  • Ensure that all applicable water quality goals, standards, and guidelines are being met; and
  • Provide for rapid response to real-time and emerging problems. 

The Cambridge water quality monitoring program consists of the four major elements shown. To learn more about the CWD Drinking Water Source-Area Monitoring Program, follow the links below or check out the Water Quality Monitoring Program Handout:

Routine Dry Weather Sampling

Details the dry weather (base flow) sampling procedure, for monitoring the standard conditions of the watershed.

Event Based (Wet Weather) Surface-Water Monitoring

Details the event based (wet weather) sampling procedure, for monitoring storm water runoff and construction effects.

Continuous Record Surface-Water Monitoring

In partnership with the USGS (United States Geological Survey).

Data Management, Interpretation, Reporting, and Review

Analysis of watershed data.