Mystic River Watershed


  • 25 square miles; headwater of Mystic River via Mystic Lakes
  • Contaminated from Woburn to Boston
  • 21 companies (tanneries, textiles, paper, insecticides)
  • At Olin, from 1953 to 1970 wastes were discharged into lagoons, ponds, and a man-made area called Lake Poly
  • The Hemond lab at MIT has identified arsenic, copper, lead, zinc, cadmium, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, trichloroethylene, benzene, toluene, and sulfuric acid as contaminants
  • Sediments are contaminated  



Communities living in the Mystic River Watershed in Massachusetts are being exposed to legacy contaminants, including alkylating agents such as N-nitrosodimethylamine and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, the focus of the MIT SRP. The Industri-Plex, Wells G&H, and Olin Superfund sites are located in the Mystic River Watershed (a land area north and east of Boston, covering 76 square miles that drains into rivers feeding into the Boston Harbor).  Importantly, many people in the Mystic River Watershed are living in Environmental Justice communities, which are of particular concern.