Source Water Protection Program

The primary goal of the Source Water Protection Program (SWPP) is to implement projects outlined in the Surface Water Supply Protection Plan to ensure a continuous supply of high quality raw water to the Walter J. Sullivan Water Treatment Facility. The major components of the SWPP include the following:

1. Water Quality Monitoring

Sampling and analysis of raw water quality

Water quality monitoring is a critical part of any watershed protection plan. The City of Cambridge conducts an extensive, state-of-the-art program in close coordination with the United States Geological Survey and uses this information to help guide management decisions. 

2. Site Monitoring Program

To minimize potential impacts on the watershed from activities

Many activities within a watershed can have serious impacts on baseflow, stormflow, and groundwater quality if not properly managed. Regular site monitoring conducted by Watershed Division staff helps ensure that all parties in the watershed are complying with relevant Massachusetts standards and regulations.

3. Emergency Response Planning

To help prevent emergencies and guide rapid response

Emergency Response preparedness is critical to water supply security. Dam safety and hazardous material introduction prevention are high priorities in the Watershed Division.

4. Natural Resources Restoration

For the preservation of water quality, recreational open spaces, natural green spaces, wildlife habitat, and refuge from hectic urban life.

The City of Cambridge is committed to the restoration of City-owned lands using natural systems-based approaches.

5. Partnership Development

Relationship-building with other parties in the watershed with common goals

In an urbanized watershed with limited City ownership, partnership development with stakeholders is crucial for innovative watershed management.