Water

The water main on High Street near #139 broke at 6:45 AM.  Water service has been restored to High Street (Central to end of line), Juniper Lane, Morningside Drive, High Ridge Road and Perkins Row.  Water service remains off on High Street from Hickory Lane to Central Street.

Do not drink the discolored water (Manganese Advisory) and do not use any hot water until the cold water clears.

The water main on Maple Street near Route 1 (east side) broke at 3:40 AM.  The only customers without water should be some buildings at the Fairgrounds.  The break caused some extemely high flow rates, 8,000 gallons per minute, along Route 1 so water discoloration throughout the downtown area is likely.  Do not drink the discolored water (Manganese Advisory) and do not use any hot water until the cold water clears.

Several customers have received letters promoting water line repair insurance from a company called HomeServe.  The insurance is supposed to cover the cost of the repair or replacement of the water line running from the meter to your home.  A quick web search can locate many articles involving HomeServe.  Some are quite skeptical of the firm yet other articles discuss how cities and towns entered into a partnership to provide the coverage to residents.  One article claimed the city was receiving a percentage of the premiums collected.  No such partnership or arrangement has been made in Topsfield.

The company's mailing states homeowners are responsible for repairing any leaks or replacing lines located on their property, which is true.  A valve, called a curb stop, is installed at the boundary between Town property and private property.  If the leak is before or at the valve then the Town repairs it.  If the leak is after the valve then the homeowner is responsible for the repair.

At the root of this is the question of whether the insurance is needed or not.  Typically less than a half dozen service leaks are found in Topsfield each year including both private and public leaks.  Our system has 1,800 service connections so leaks occur infrequency.  Ultimately the decision to purchase needs to be made by the homeowner and we recommend researching it thouroughly beforehand.

Subcategories

The Water Department bills for water usage and other fees based on rates set by the Board of Water Commissioners. A rate hearing is usually held in the spring and is advertised in local papers. Click here for a listing of our current rates and charges. The revenue generated funds the Department's activities and capital improvements. We operate on an enterprise accounting system that keeps our funds completely separate from other Town departments.

Welcome to our cross connection section. These connections are a specific class of connections to the distribution system that pose or could pose a health risk. Some of the more common cross connections in Topsfield include:

  • Filling a swimming pool with a garden hose while the end of the hose is below the flood rim of the pool.
  • Certain types of fire suppression systems.
  • Chemical mixing tanks.
  • Certain types of heating, ventilation and cooling systems.

Cross connections are pathways that could introduce contamination to the water distribution system under certain hydraulic conditions. We are required by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to run a Cross Connection Control Program to make sure these connections are properly protected by a backflow prevention device or eliminated. Some devices require annual or semi-annual testing based on the degree of hazard and we are required to make sure tests are done according to MassDEP's schedule.

Hydrants are flushed twice a year.  The spring flushing program typically begins in April and the fall program begins in October.  Each round takes approximately five weeks.

The Water Management Act gives the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection the authority to regulate ground water and surface water withdrawals in excess of 0.100 million gallons per day (MGD). The Water Management Act was enacted during the 1980's and there were quite a few water suppliers that fell under the new regulations. The regulations created what is refered to as a "registration" volume which is the amount of water historically withdrawn by the supplier at the time DEP's regulation took affect. Some suppliers have filed for water management permits to allow withdrawals in excess of the registration volume. The Town of Topsfield currently has a registration volume of 0.430 MGD and a permitted volume of 0.170 MGD.

This portion of the website contains information concerning manganese contamination of our source water.

This section contains information about the Water Department finances.

This section of the site contains information about the Water Department Budget.  Descriptions of various sections and actual budgets will be posted.

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Manganese Advisory

The Water Department issued a manganese advisory on November 1, 2013.  Monthly test results are available our water quality site.

The Perkins Row well exceeded MassDEP's limit of 0.3 milligrams per Liter during the summer of 2016.  Both water sources are now below State manganese limit.  The advisory will remain in place until the treatment plant is built and in operation.

Water Treatment Plant Information

A Special Town Meeting held on June 20, 2017 approved $10.4 million for the construction of a water treatment facility.  Construction is underway and we expect the plant to open in early 2019.  Click here for more information.

Mandatory Outdoor Water Restriction

mansign Nonessential outdoor use is limited to hand-held implements before 9 AM or after 5 PM each day.  The use of irrigation systems or lawn sprinklers is prohibited.

Pay your water bill online

81009 83017 0Please visit the Unibank site to pay your water or tax bills online.

 
 

Water Department

279 Boston Street

Topsfield, MA 01983

978.887.1517

978.887.1543 (Fax)

911 -  After Hours Emergency

Hours: Monday-Friday 7 AM to 3:30 PM

Highway Department

279 Boston Street

Topsfield, MA 01983

978.887.1542

978.887.1543 (Fax)

Hours: Monday-Friday 7 AM to 3 PM