Part of CWD’s mission and stated goal is to provide public outreach and education through tours and other presentations at the Water Department. Tours and presentations are conducted by CWD operational staff. Approval and scheduling of tours are made based on the availability of staff and based on scheduled operational activities for any given time.
There are regularly scheduled Monday night tours (6:00 pm to 7:30 pm) throughout the year. The 2023 tour dates are listed here.
Check the CWD calendar for more details. There is also an annual “Cambridge School” day during the CWD annual Water Week celebration in May, and Fresh Pond Day each spring. Tours are given to range of audiences: Cambridge water drinkers, school groups, college classes, professional groups, and international visitors. Scheduling preference is given to Cambridge groups and institutions.
The route for a tour approval is to submit a “Tour Request Form”. To download the form, please click here.
The form asks for contact information, a description of the group (where from, age, number of proposed visitors) and expectations or goal for the tour (e.g. out-side watershed/reservation tour, overall water system tour, or treatment process). Several proposed dates and good lead time are useful for scheduling. There is generally a limit of 20 participants to ensure proper supervision and participation.
Once received and approved, phone and email correspondence will follow to work out the final date and time. The times generally available are Monday 7 am to 7:30 pm, Tuesday-Thursday 7 am -3:00 pm and Friday 7:00 am – noon. Tours are not conducted on weekends.
Adult tours can be very flexible and subject matter can be based on participant questions. Younger group are more structured. The activities for younger groups include:
Introduction to the distribution system using the lobby floor.
- Introduction to the Cambridge Watershed using the upper hallway mural.
- An explanation of the treatment process and a tour of the lab.
CWD staff enjoys giving tours, but it is an activity that is balanced with operational duties and that is assigned to specific individuals based on availability.