Sudbury River Facts

Sudbury River

Municipalities in the Watershed: 14 towns and 1 city; including Ashland, Concord, Framingham, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lincoln, the City of Marlborough, Natick, Northborough, Sherborn, Southborough, Sudbury, Wayland, Westborough, and Weston.

Political Boundaries: The Sudbury watershed is includes Massachusetts' 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Congressional districts, and spans a part of Worcester and Middlesex counties.

River Length: About 41 mainstem miles from the headwaters in Westborough to Concord, where it merges with the Assabet River at Egg Rock to form the Concord River.

Wild and Scenic Status: In 1999, nearly 17 miles of the river were designated by the federal government as a part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, recognizing the recreation, ecology, scenery, and historic/cultural resources of the river. The 16.6-mile segment from the Danforth Street Bridge in Framingham to the confluence with the Assabet River in Concord is designated as a Wild and Scenic River.

Watershed Area: 162 square miles.

Watershed Population: Approximately 180,000.

Water Quality: Goal: Class B Aquatic Life; fishable and swimmable.

Major Tributaries: Whitehall Brook, Indian Brook, Cochituate Brook, Rutters Brook, Hop Brook, Trout Brook, Cranberry Brook, Wash Brook, Pantry Brook, Pine Brook, Eames Brook.

Municipal Water Withdrawals: most towns withdraw water from wells in the watershed and some supplement with MWRA; Framingham relies entirely on MWRA; Southborough has only private (non-municipal) wells

Wastewater Discharges: 1 municipal wastewater treatment plant in Wayland.

Dams: Fenwick Street Dam (Framingham), Saxonville Dam (Framingham), and Myrtle Street Dam (Ashland), as well as dams associated with the MWRA/DCR reservoirs.

Recreation: Canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, bird watching.

Notable Features: The river starts in Cedar Swamp in Westborough. The approx. 1,650-acre Cedar Swamp was the first Area of Critical Environmental Concern designated in Massachusetts (1975). The river flows through Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Sudbury. Cochituate State Park contains Lake Cochituate which is a tributary, as is the Sudbury Reservoir.