Concord River Facts


Towns in the Watershed: 8 towns and 1 city; including Concord, Carlisle, Bedford, Billerica, Lincoln, Westford, Tewskbury, Chelmsford, and the City of Lowell.

Political Boundaries: The Concord watershed is divided between Massachusetts' 3rd and 6th Congressional districts in Middlesex County.

River Length: 15.8 mainstem miles from the headwaters at Egg Rock in Concord to eastern Lowell, where it joins the Merrimack River.

Wild and Scenic Status: In 1999, the 8-mile segment of the river from Egg Rock in Concord to the Route 3 Bridge in Billerica was 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.

Watershed Area: 59 square miles.

Watershed Population: Approximately 110,000 (est. 3% increase 2000-2010).

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

Major Tributaries: River Meadow Brook, Mill Brook (Concord), Millbrook (Billerica), Marginal Brook.

Municipal Water Withdrawals: Billerica has been supplying water to residents since 1899 from the Concord River. It maintains emergency connections to Tewksbury, Bedford, and East Chelmsford. Other towns have wells and surface supplies that withdraw water from the watershed. Lowell's municipal supply is from the Merrimack River.

Wastewater Discharges: 2 municipal wastewater treatment plants: Billerica and Concord.

Dams: Faulkner/Talbot Mill Dam in North Billerica and Centennial Dam and Middlesex Dam in Lowell.

Recreation: Boating, fishing, hiking, and bird watching.

Notable Features: The river flows past The Old Manse and then through Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord and under the famous North Bridge. From there it flows through the Concord unit of the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Other sites of interest are Middlesex Canal Museum in North Billerica, Two Brother’s Rocks (Bedford), and the Lowell canals.