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About the Water and Sewer Department

Important Information & Alerts

For additional information and answers to some frequently asked questions, please click here.

Some ratepayers have been receiving water and sewer bills with estimated reads (denoted by an “E” in the Read Code column), due to equipment no longer transmitting readings from their water meters. The water meters that are being replaced have been accurately reading water usage throughout your estimated read period, but the transponders have not been automatically transmitting the information to our Billing Division. The Water and Sewer department is in the midst of a Citywide Water Meter Replacement Project for existing equipment and water meters. When a new water meter is installed the actual read is taken from the old one, which may be higher or lower than the estimated reads.

This may result in the bill following the water meter replacement being higher or showing a credit on the account. The subsequent bill will return to being reflective of actual meter readings.

To schedule an appointment for your meter replacement, please contact Mass Installation, Inc. at http://massinstallation.com/appointment/ or by phone at 1-800-933-1360, Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. You can also leave a message with their 24-hour answering service.

In our continuing efforts to improve our utility service to you, the City of Somerville, Department of Water and Sewer, (617) 625-6600 ext. 5850, needs to replace the water meter or meter transmitting unit (MTU) at your home or business and has contracted with Mass Installation, Inc. There is no cost to you for any of the needed work. To schedule an appointment for your meter replacement, please contact Mass Installation, Inc. (MIi), our Installation contractor, at 1-800-933-1360, Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. You may also leave a message with their 24-hour answering service. MIi will attempt to arrange an appointment time that is convenient for you. The average installation time is approximately less than one (1) hour.

For additional information and answers to some frequently asked questions, please click here.

You may also go to http://massinstallation.com/appointment/ to request an appointment time through our website, and MIi will contact you to confirm your appointment.

Participation In the City of Somerville Meter Replacement program Is MANDATORY. Thank you for your prompt response and cooperation.

The average leak can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year, with ten percent of properties having leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day causing high water and sewer bills. Common types of leaks found are worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. These types of leaks are often easy to fix, requiring only a few tools and hardware that can pay for themselves in water savings. Fixing easily corrected water leaks can save ratepayers about 10 percent on their water bills.To learn more about water leaks and what you can do please visit https://www.somervillema.gov/waterleaks.

About the Water and Sewer Department

The Somerville Water Department maintains, repairs and improves the City's 118 miles of water mains, 1,500 fire hydrants and 15,6000 water service connections and meters, ensuring high-quality and dependable service. The Water and Sewer Department uses state-of-the-art technology and works in a fiscally responsible manner to keep water and sewer service affordable. The Department also assists with snow removal and emergency responses. 

Dial 311 (617-666-3311 outside Somerville) to report a problem with water or sewer service.

Contact Information
Demetrios G. Vidalis, PE
Director of Water & Sewer

Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Phone Number
x
5850
Fax Number
Address

17 Franey Rd.
Somerville, MA 02145
United States

Employee Directory

Billing & Payment Info

You may pay your water and sewer bill online or in person at the Treasurer’s Office at Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue).

Water Services

Dial 311 (617-666-3311 outside Somerville) to report a problem with water or sewer service. 

Among the water services offered by the Somerville Water & Sewer Department:

  • Responding to emergency calls: no water 
  • Mark -outs (Digsafe) 
  • Installation of meters and automatic reading devices 
  • Inspections of new water mains and water lines 
  • Flushing water mains 
  • Replacing water mains 
  • Repairing/replacing hydrants 
  • Exercising valves/repair or replace valves 
  • Water sampling (DEP required) 
  • Meter reading 
  • Billing     
     

Prevent & Fix Leaks: WaterScope Sign-Up

The average leak can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year, with ten percent of properties having leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day causing high water and sewer bills. Common types of leaks found are worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. These types of leaks are often easy to fix, requiring only a few tools and hardware that can pay for themselves in water savings. Fixing easily corrected water leaks can save ratepayers about 10 percent on their water bills.To learn more about water leaks and what you can do please visit https://www.somervillema.gov/waterleaks.

 

Sewer Services

Dial 311 (617-666-3311 outside Somerville) to report a problem with water or sewer service. 

Among the sewer services offered by the Somerville Water & Sewer Department: 

  • Responding to emergency calls: backups 
  • Catch basin cleaning 
  • Repairing City sewers 
  • Reducing Inflow and Infiltration 
  • Monitoring Pump Stations  

For Residents/Landlords

 

Dial 311 (617-666-3311 outside Somerville) to report a problem with water or sewer service. 

Permits and Info For Contractors

In conjunction with the requirements of the Department of Environmental Protection 310 CMR 22.22, the following procedures apply: 

  • No plumbing permit shall be issued for cross connection installations requiring Reduced Pressure Zone Backflow Preventers or Double Check Valve Assemblies until the application for such permit is accompanied by a letter of approval from the Department, its Designee or public water system. (http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/water/drinking/water-systems-ops.html#8
  • The Owner or Agent must deliver design data sheets, a drawing of the plans for installation of the reduced pressure backflow preventer or double check valve assembly, along with a $25 permit fee, to the Water Superintendent prior to the issuance of a building permit and prior to the installation of the device. 
  • The Water Superintendent will issue a permit. 
  • If the device is installed prior to obtaining the permit, the permit fee will be doubled to $50. 
  • No more than fourteen days from the installation of the device, the Owner or agent must schedule an appointment for inspecting the device installation. 
  • No water will be turned on unless the Water Superintendent has notification from the Cross Connection Control tester that the device passes the required test.  

For approval of new water line installation/upgrade and to have the water turned on: 

  • Owner/agent must deliver a copy of the utility plans to the Water Superintendent. 
  • The Water Superintendent issues the permit for a water tap based on these plans. 
  • Prior to backfilling the trench, the owner/agent must call the Water Foreman for an inspection of the piping and the meter installation. 

Forms, Reports, & More Info

Forms 

Water Quality Reports

Easy Ways to Protect Our Waterways 

Other Information

Water Meter Replacement

The Water department routinely replaces automated meter readers and water meters on the inside and outside of homes and businesses in order to ensure equipment functions properly. Department staff make every effort to contact property owners regarding necessary repairs. When contact information is incorrect or no response is received, Department personnel may visit a property to obtain access to malfunctioning equipment.  

In all cases, personnel will be upholding recommended health guidelines, including wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and practicing safe physical distancing. Meter technicians and supporting personnel will always be wearing identifiable uniforms that say either "City of Somerville" or "Mass Installation." Please call 311 or e-mail water@somervillema.gov with any questions or concerns. 

The Water and Sewer Department has contracted with Mass Installation Inc. to replace the water meter or meter transmitting unit (MTU) at your home or business and has contracted with Mass Installation, Inc.  

Participation is mandatory, but there is no cost to you for any of the work.  

To schedule an appointment for your meter replacement, please contact Mass Installation, Inc. at 1-800-933-1360, Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. You can also leave a message with their 24-hour answering service.  

Mass Installation will schedule an appointment time that is convenient for you. The average installation time is approximately less than one (1) hour. 

You may also go to http://massinstallation.com/appointment/ to request an appointment time through our website.

For additional information and answers to some frequently asked questions, please click here.
 

Adopt a Drain
 

Adopt-a-Drain Program

Help keep our waterways clean by adopting a drain in your neighborhood! Through Somerville’s Adopt-a-Drain program, residents and business owners can volunteer to care for a local storm drain and check on it before and after heavy rain, wind, or snow.
 

What is an Adopt-a-Drain program? What does it mean to adopt a drain?
An Adopt-a-Drain program is a volunteer program that helps keep our local environment clean and healthy. Participants sign up to adopt a drain (or drains!) and then check on that drain before and after heavy rain, wind, or snow. Any extra care is even better! Anything that goes down the drain can end up in the Mystic River, the Alewife Brook, or the Charles River. Keeping the drains clear can also help prevent streets from flooding as it ensures that water can freely flow down the drain.
 

What am I adopting? What is a storm drain?
Storm drains (or catch basins, as engineers like to call them) are the grates you see in our streets and roads. They’ll be to the side of the road, along the curb, and in Somerville are typically square. Since asphalt and pavement can’t absorb water, any rain and melting snow flow along the street and into these drains. 

A basin below the grates, called a catch basin sump, is meant to collect this water and any debris but it can fill up quickly and doesn’t capture everything. 
 

Image
Trash and leaves clogging a drain.

Trash and leaves can clog drains, cause flooding, and pollute our waterways.
 

Image
A clear drain with no obstructions.

A clear drain means water can flow into the catch basin sump.

 

How can I get involved?

Just head to the Somerville Adopt-a-Drain page to sign up! Find a drain by typing in a nearby address or by dragging the map. If the drain you want to adopt is available, you can claim it by clicking on it. Sign up for the program, give your drain a name, and keep an eye out for a welcome email with more info! You can adopt as many drains as you would like to care for.

 

Programs & Initiatives

Lead Service Line Replacement Program
Have your property’s lead or non-copper water service line replaced, free of charge.

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