Reports: Explanation of groundwater, Canadian Building Digest
The link below is a basic primer on what groundwater is and how it affects building construction. It is taken from the Canadian Building Digest, a publication of Canada's Institute for Research in Construction. While the document, written in 1966, is obviously not focused on Boston, it does reference the problems that can occur in wood piling foundations. It should be noted that construction technology, including that for isolating surrounding parcels from a drawdown for construction, has advanced significantly since the article was written.