Water, Sewer and Drain
The Water Department bills quarterly, four annual bills per account.
The department performs house service renewals, repairs house line service leaks, water main breaks, replaces fire hydrants and adds new hydrants and gate valves to the system, repairs storm drain lines, rebuilds catch basins, responds to house line sewer backups and main line backups, cleans thousands of feet of sewer main, repairs sewer systems and rebuilds manholes.
The department also meets the ever increasing reporting requirements of the EPA, DEP and MWRA for drinking water. Annually, the staff performs the six week program of hydrant and water main flushing (Watertown has nearly 1,000 hydrants and 3,600 catch basins) and conducts weekly drinking water quality sampling, entailing more than 520 samples over the course of the year. Inspects and samples river outfalls for quality of the Charles River and continues our program for television inspection of sewer and drain lines and conducts two annual rounds of sampling for lead in the drinking water.
The department continues its inspection of backflow prevention devices in compliance with the DEP. All existing or new building drains from plumbing fixtures liable to backflow from a DPW sewer, or a private sewer connected to DPW sewer, shall be required to have backwater valves installed at the owner’s expense. Any plumbing fixtures located at an elevation below the top of the manhole on the DPW sewer serving the fixture shall be considered to be liable to backflow. Backflow valves shall be installed in accordance with 248 CMR Section 2.09(4) of the Uniform State plumbing Code.
Did you know that Watertown has 80 miles of water piping running under its streets? The water mains measure from 6” in diameter to 16”. One is 72” in diameter!