The water distribution division operates with a staff of six employees and has an annual operating budget for FY19 of $882,341.
Operate and maintain the network of pipes and valves that deliver clean water to homes and businesses. This network includes (numbers are approximate):
- 110 Miles of Water Main
- 1,200 Fire Hydrants
- 1,400 Gate Valves
- 5,000 Water Services
- 300 Backflow Prevention Devices
Perform emergency repairs to water main breaks, Install and read meters, Perform tests on meters, backflow prevention devices, and other components of the water distribution system, Monitor the work of contractors installing water main extensions into businesses and new subdivisions.
Meter Replacement Program
The water distribution division has an ongoing program to install radio read water meters to improve billing efficiency. The current focus is on commercial and difficult-to-read meters. Our goal is to replace all 5,000 meters and to maintain this replacement program over a twenty-year cycle coinciding with the design life of the meter. Virtually all existing meters can currently be read through a touchpad mounted on the side of the house. Forty percent of the existing meters can be read from the street via a radio. While improving meter reading efficiency, the newer technology has additional benefits such as minimization of meter reading errors, minimization of the need to access private property, and the ability to detect if there is a probable leak in the plumbing system.
Select houses will receive a notice explaining that the water meter is scheduled for replacement. The notice will provide instructions on how to schedule an appointment. The installation will typically take 15-30 minutes and will be performed by Town personnel. An adult must be home at the time of the installation.
Questions about the program may be addressed to Deputy Superintendent by calling 781-826-3189.
The water distribution division maintains an active unidirectional flushing program which is designed to exercise and test gate valves and hydrants as well as flush sediment out of the water mains. Sediment is naturally occurring iron and manganese that has not been completely removed by the treatment plants. Over time this sediment interacts with residual chlorine in the water and forms red and black deposits of oxidized iron and manganese. If not periodically controlled by a flushing program, these deposits will not only stain laundry and plumbing fixtures as they find their way into homes, but the buildup of the deposits in the water mains can also reduce the capacity of the mains and promote the growth of naturally occurring bacteria in the water, shielding it from the chlorine that has been added to control the growth. To promote a clean system, the DPW flushes hydrants in the spring and the fall. This is a normal maintenance function. We make every effort to minimize damage to landscaping during these operations.