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Water and Sewer

What are my Water Rates?
Where is my water meter?
How and when is my water meter read?
What do I do if there is a leak?
Do I have lead service and should I be concerned if I do??
Questions
Water Conservation



What are my water rates?
The current rates  for water and sewer service are $6.05 per 100 cubic feet of water used and $9.90 per hundred cubic feet of sewer used. The sewer usage is not metered and is based on the amount of water used. Because Winthrop's water is provided by the MWRA and the wastewater is treated by the MWRA the rate charged is largely based on the amount the MWRA  assesses the Town. Like the assessment, the water and sewer rates are occasionally adjusted. The minimum quarterly fee is $50.00.


Where is my water meter?
The water meters can be located anywhere in the house but must be near where the main service enters the foundation. Generally speaking this is in the basement near the closest street. Due to the older nature of our water system there are a few properties in Town that have meters located in underground pits outside the property. Each home owner should know where their meter is and should keep the area assessable and protected from frost.


How and when is my water meter read?
Meters are read every three months (quarterly), usually in December, March, June, and September. The meters are currently read by an electronic gun that touches a pad located on the exterior of your house. This is referred to as "touch" or "button" read system. With this system it is not normally required for DPW staff to enter your house, nor is it required that you are home for the reading to take place. The "buttons" are black and are approximately 1.5" in diameter. They are preferably located in place that have easy access during summer and winter conditions. You will be doing the DPW a much appreciated service if you know where your button is located and you maintain access to it. Please do not paint over it or plant in front of it. If you are moving fences, decks or walkways be mindful that DPW personal need to be able to access the button.

What do I do if there is a leak?
First and foremost call a plumber. The Town's staff is licensed with the DEP to operate a distribution network. We are not licensed plumbers. If necessary your plumber may contact us to shut off the main service. If the leak is in the street contact the DPW at 617 846-1341.


Do I have a lead service and should I be concerned
Lead service lines were used during early days of plumbing, so if you have and older house you may have a lead service. The majority of the Town's system as well as the MWRA's is constructed of iron and steel. Our records currently indicate that about 800 homes (of 4600) have lead service pipes. These are replaced during leaks and when public street projects are conducted. In general the Town removes about 20% of the existing lead services per year. You can call the DPW at 617 846 1341 to check your address against our current lead service list.

Lead in drinking water is a concern because studies have indicted that infants exposed to lead may experience delays in physical and mental development. In more extreme situations adults may develop kidney or high blood pressure problems. The DPW regularly samples and tests for lead in the system at numerous higher risk locations. These have generally tested well. In the most recent test one house was slightly over the EPA guidelines.You should also know that lead in water precipitates rapidly, such that using well flushed cold water is most always safe.


Questions
Department of Public Works at 617-846-1341 for more information.
MWRA (www.mwra.com) 617 242 5323
Mass Department of Public Health 800 532 9571


WATER CONSERVATION

The MWRA        PROVIDES WATER CONSERVATION RETROFIT KITS TO LOCAL RESIDENTS AND PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANIES WITHIN THE SERVICE AREA.  MWRA will send out a maximum of 50 kits at a time.

They include:
A Low Flow Showerhead - 2.0 gpm - plastic and chrome components
Two Faucet Aerators - 1.5 gpm for bathroom and kitchen - brass and chrome finish
Dye Tablets - to check for silent toilet leaks
Installation Instructions

Individual customers wishing to obtain a kit can complete a simple request form found online at http://www.mwra.com/comsupport/waterconservationmain.htm or call MWRA at (617) 242-SAVE (7283) tp obtain the form.  Communities may stockpile a reasonable quantity of water conservation kits for future distribution to retail customers and can request these kits along with the educational brochures.







 
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Winthrop Town Hall 1 Metcalf Square, Winthrop, MA 02152
Phone: 617.846.1852    webmaster@town.winthrop.ma.us
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