"In March and April, 1927, Town Meeting voted to build a water filtration plant at Crystal Lake. The project began on July 5th, 1927 with A.P. Rounds of Stoneham winning the contract with his low bid of $104,406. In all, 11 contractors submitted bids, the highest being $191,321. The project was so significant that tours were conducted throughout the first week, during the day, night and on the weekend when it was completed in February, 1928. The gates were open on February 9th, 1928, marking the completion of the project. The two filtered water basins had a capacity of 404,972 gallons. Water from Crystal Lake was taken in through pipes to a 10" main, to the low-lift pumping apparatus, then pumped from the station to the aerators. The two aerators were 5' high, 44' long and 28' wide, with 70, 2" pipes with brass nozzles, each of which contained 27 small holes through which water poured in a thin mist. Newspaper reports indicated that contact with the air 'tends to purify the water and relieve it of any unpleasant vegetable odor, which people in some sections of town believed they experienced in years gone by, especially during the warm summer months.' The water was pumped from the lake to the aerators and filters by the two low-lift pumps, and to the mains by the two high-lift pumps. Each of the station's pumps was capable of pumping 2.5 million gallons of water every 24-hours, or around 1,750 gallons every minute. The filter beds had a foundation of 7" of course [sic] ground stone, 2" of screened gravel, and topped with 3" of pure white, specially selected beach sand. Engineers from Weston & Sampson found the 3,500 tons of sand in 40' of water off Plum Island and Ipswich. The sand was transported from off Plum Island to Boston in barges, where it traveled by rail and truck to the station. The short stretch of beach directly in front of the station was eliminated and replaced with a seawall, the materials for which were taken from pavements on Water Street, near the Heywood Wakefield plant and in Greenwood near the Greenwood School. A 646,000 gallon standpipe was erected on Harts Hill, linked to the station by a 16" main which in turn joined a 12" main at the corner of Main and Green Streets. A second 550,000-gallon standpipe with a 12" cement-lined main linked the station to Stoneham. Both had the same water levels, rising and falling at the same speed and frequency." -- Text from calendar by Jayne M. D'Onofrio.
Image from the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department annual calendar, 2001
Photo courtesy of the Wakefield Item Company.