DCR Watershed Water Quality Reports

Find past and present water quality reports for Quabbin Reservoir, Ware River, and Wachusett Reservoir watersheds.

Water quality sampling and watershed monitoring make up an important part of the overall mission of the Division of Water Supply Protection. Annual Water Quality Reports are produced for both the Wachusett Reservoir and the Quabbin Reservoir & Ware River watersheds. These reports detail the results of sampling performed in the tributaries and the reservoirs for:

  • bacteria
  • nutrients
  • conductivity
  • temperature
  • turbidity
  • algae
  • hydrogen ion activity
  • giardia/cryptosporidium

Water quality sampling and field inspections help identify tributaries with water quality problems, help with the implementation of watershed protection plans, and ensure that the watersheds meet state and federal water quality criteria for public drinking water supply sources. Bacterial monitoring of the reservoir and its tributaries show the sanitary quality and help to protect public health.

Table of Contents

Wachusett Reservoir Annual Water Quality Reports

Quabbin Reservoir & Ware River Annual Water Quality Reports

Long Term Water Quality Reports

Other Water Quality Information

The MWRA also has an extensive sampling program throughout the metropolitan Boston drinking water system, conducting tests on water sampled at the source reservoirs (source or raw water) and also on water after treatment sampled from MWRA or community lines (treated water). 

MWRA has recently started testing for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (together abbreviated as PFAS). These are a class of human-made chemicals typically associated with manufacturing of non-stick coatings, water-proofing and stain-proofing treatments. They have also been associated with certain fire-fighting foams.  The sum of the six regulated PFAS compounds has been zero in all testing rounds.  Click here for more information about PFAS and MWRA test results.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), along with the Office of Watershed Management, operates streamflow monitoring gages near the mouths of both the Stillwater and Quinapoxet Rivers, the two major tributaries to the Wachusett Reservoir. An additional gage is located in Gates Brook which is located in West Boylston.  Data recorded by the tools at the gages are used by the DCR to monitor flow rates, water temperature (in degrees Celsius), and specific conductance (in microsiemens per centimeter). At the Stillwater and Quinapoxet River stations, cumulative precipitation (in inches) are recorded. A real time groundwater monitoring well, also located in West Boylston, is used to determine groundwater levels from the surface.  All of these factors have a significant effect on the overall quality and quantity of water that feed into the reservoir. 


Yuehlin Lee
Director, Environmental Quality
Quabbin/Ware Section
485 Ware Road
Belchertown, MA  01007
(413) 323-6921 x27905
E-mail: yuehlin.lee@mass.gov

Jamie Carr
Director, Environmental Quality
Wachusett/Sudbury Section
180 Beaman Street
West Boylston, MA  01583
(774) 261-1842
E-mail: jamie.carr@mass.gov

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