The Water Department operates as an enterprise system and all expenses must be covered by the collection water rates and fees.  As a result the budget contains a few sections other budgets do not.

Operating Budget

Salary - The salary section contains line items related to the compensation of the Water Superintendent.

Wages - The wage section contains several line items to fund the union and non-union hourly wage positions in the department.  Also included in this section is a line item for outside help which is typically used to pay overtime to employees of other departments that work at water main breaks, hydrant flushing, etc.

Other - This major line items in this section provide funding for electricity, water treatment, water testing, public works supplies, emergency and non-emergency maintenance, bill printing and mailing, and other maintenance activities.




Unanticipated Emergency Fund - This fund can be accessed by Water Commissioners to help offset expenses not able to be covered by the operating budget which normally is caused by severe water main breaks that require a significant amount of road repair.

Reserve Fund - This fund is essentially the Water Department's savings account.  It can be accessed with Finance Committee and Board of Selectment approval if needed.


Debt Service

The debt section contains funding for long and short-term debt obligations of the department.


Indirect Costs

Although not included in the budget, Indirect Costs are paid by the Water Department to the Town for services provided on behalf of the department.  This includes the department' share of pension and health care costs, portions of salaries and wages for certain positions in Town Hall, legal bills, payments to Town for the Police Department to patrol Water Department properties and costs associatioted with Water Department related calls made to the Essex County Regional Communications Center.  Indirect costs are assessed every year but there is a lag.  This year's costs are for the last completed fiscal year so the indirect costs in our FY2019 budget are for costs the Town incurred in FY2017.

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Water Department

279 Boston Street

Topsfield, MA 01983


911 -  After Hours Emergency

Office Hours: Monday-Friday 7 AM to 2:00 PM

Highway Department

279 Boston Street

Topsfield, MA 01983


Hours: Monday-Friday 7 AM to 3 PM