||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (August 2011)|
|Primary outflows||Saugus River|
|Basin countries||United States|
Lake Quannapowitt is one of two main lakes in Wakefield, Massachusetts, the other being the manmade Crystal Lake. Lake Quannapowitt is a popular setting for walkers, joggers, bikers, and in-line skaters off Route 128 in Middlesex County. It is the site of many organized races from 5Ks to Ultra Marathons. Since 1992, Friends of Lake Quannapowitt is an organization that has worked to fulfill its goal of promoting public awareness and providing long-term protection and enhancement of Lake Quannapowitt and its environs. Large amounts of tar were found in the lake some years ago. The lake is emptied by the Saugus River.
Lake Quannapowitt (KWAN-ah-POW-it), which was originally known as Reading Pond, has numerous nicknames today. Some area natives refer to the lake as "Lake Quannapolluted" due to their view of the state of health of the lake, but the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has only one isolated open case of contamination from the electric company that has a funded clean up program with a 2008 completion date. The two former beaches remain closed to swimming.
The town common of Wakefield is on the south shore of the lake. Probably the most well known scene in the town is of its iconic bandstand on the town common, with Lake Quannapowitt in the background.
The lake has active populations of warmwater species of fish.
Lake Quannapowitt Clean Up. Lake Quannapowitt is located in Wakefield Massachusetts and is a haven for joggers and walkers drawing thousands to its shores each year. There several commons areas that surround the lake that include playgrounds, grassy open spaces, benches, fountains and a baseball field. There are at least two beaches but these beaches have been closed for swimming. Various contaminants including arsenic and lead have been found in the lake mostly in the lake bottom sediments. In 1999 it was learned that arsenic, lead and petroleum contaminants had seeped into the sand, mud, peat and gravel on the Lake’s bottom in the area behind the Hartshorne House and Vet’s Field. The contaminants came from the old coal gasification plant on North Avenue, approximately where the MGLD building is now. In Ancient Times (the late 19th and early 20th centuries), gas manufactured from coal was used to light the town’s street lamps. The process produced a coal tar by-product that was stored in underground wells and eventually found its way into the Lake bottom. (Marksardella.worldpress.com). Doug Heath of the Friend of Lake Quannapowitt adds when referring to elevated levels of toxic substances “although all four elements occur naturally in the environment, these increases are the result of our industrial, highly-mobile society. The fuel we burn, the cars we drive and the lawns we fertilize have all contributed to these changes”. A clean up project that included dredging was completed in 2008 that was funded in combination of public money and a settlement from the insurer of Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light.
"For thousands of years, the lake was openly drained by the Saugus River, which flowed unimpeded to the Atlantic. Every year, millions of alewife and salmon swam upstream into the lake to spawn. However, beginning in 1646 mill dams constructed at the Saugus Iron Works began to alter the natural flow of the lake and river. In 1928, the Town of Wakefield constructed a dam at Lowell Street to further control lake levels for recreation, greatly reducing outflow into the Saugus River"(Doug Heath).
- Wakefield, Massachusetts