Lake Waban is known for many different characteristics. It is known as a hallmark component of Wellesley College’s topography. It is known as the go-to walking trail for local residents and their canine companions. And it is known as one of the most contaminated bodies of water in all of New England. Unfortunately, it was also known as one of my favorite swimming holes as a kid.
The lake used to be home to one of the area’s finest lead paint factories. That lead paint seeped into the water, provoking the state to classify Waban as a Tier 1A host of hazardous waste in the late 1990s. On the bright side, it looks great.