Water Rules & Regulations

Section 4:  Meters

4.1       Meter Installation

A shut-off valve at the meter inlet shall be the first fitting inside of a serviced building and shall be installed by the Department.  A ball valve as the first fitting “downstream” of the meter shall be installed at the expense of the customer.  The meter shall be located in a clean, dry, warm and accessible location.  A certified Plumber must complete any connection past the meter. Any service line over 100’ must have a meter pit closest to the curb stop or property line before their meter installation is approved. 

The appropriate size, type and location of the meter shall be determined and approved by the Department and based on the AWWA Manual Sections M22 and M6 or as amended.  All meters will be remote read as required by the Department.  Any meter larger than 2” must be a compound meter.  Meter and installation are at the expense of the owner.  Routine meter maintenance shall be provided by Department.

4.2       Customers to Pay for Meter Repairs

Meter repair or replacements due to damage caused by accident or negligence shall be charged to the customer.

4.3       Meters Purchased from Department

All water meters must be purchased from the Department. Only these meters may be used on its water system.

4.4       Meter Removal

Water meters shall not be removed from the water system by anyone other than Department personnel. Once a meter has been removed, it is the responsibility of the owner to maintain custody of the water meter at the property.  Violation of this rule shall be considered meter tampering and be subject to applicable fines.

4.5       Meter Pits

Installation of meter pits shall be at the customer’s expense. When it is necessary or expedient to locate the meter in an underground box or vault approved by the Department, the customer shall bear the expense of same and shall bear the responsibility of reasonable care and maintenance of said box or vault such as keeping it clean and dry. The customer shall not be permitted to cover the pit or in any way hinder access to the water meter. Meter pit covers must remain exposed at all times. Pits shall be furnished with inlet and outlet connections that accept a variety of Mueller underground service connection fittings that meet requirements of the latest revised AWWA Standard C800-89. For the purpose of standardization, the meter pit shall be Mueller with specifications determined by the Superintendent or Superintendent’s designee.           

4.6       Meter Tampering

A penalty or charge will be levied for each incident of tampering, installation alteration, and removal of a water meter by anyone not authorized by the Department. In addition, the Department reserves the right to pursue further prosecution in accordance with Massachusetts General Law Chapter 165 § 11.

4.7       Water Department’s Right to Change Meters

If, in the opinion of the Superintendent, a meter does not fit the conditions of the service installation, the Department has the right to change such meter. Such a change shall be made in accordance with current regulations and paid by the customer.

4.8       When Meter is Out of Order

If a meter fails to register, the customer shall be charged based on the best available information concerning water use.

4.9       Repairing Meters

The Department shall have the right to remove, repair or replace any meter at any time it so determines.

4.10     Access to the Meter

It shall be the duty of all customers to ensure that meters on service connections be readily accessible at all times to Department personnel. Failure to provide access or remove any obstruction which prevents access to the meter within three days after being notified by the department shall cause the water to be shut off to the premises and it shall not be turned on until all obstructions are removed, all regulations complied with, and all expenses for shutting off and turning on the water are paid.

4.11     Residential Meter Testing vs. Testing Meters by Request

If during any dispute where a water meter reading is being contested, a customer may request to have the meter sent to a certified testing facility at the owner’s expense. Should the Department request to have the meter tested, it will be at the Department’s expense.  If as a result of the test the meter is found to register over two (2) percent more water than actually passes through it, the meter shall be replaced. At that time, they may receive abatement.  Their bill will also be adjusted in accordance with the result of this test.

However, if it appears that the customer was charged or has paid for less water than they should have been charged or should have paid, they shall, forthwith, be charged with the proper additional amount and shall pay the same together with the expense of the examination and test to the Department. If the Department chooses to change a meter at any time, it is not an admission that there is something wrong with the present meter.

4.12     Commercial/Industrial Meter Testing

The Superintendent can require that a large commercial or industrial meter be tested if there is reason to believe that said meter is not registering water accurately.  Based on AWWA Standard C700, all meters shall be tested by agents or representatives of the Department. 

Commercial/Industrial Meter Testing will be done at the expense of Department.  If Superintendent requires such testing, the owner will be notified via certified mail.  The owner will have 10 business days from receipt of letter to notify the Water Department of what action has been taken for the repair or replacement of the meter and 20 business days to have the actual repair or replacement completed.  Failure to respond to the first notice will result in a second notice informing the owner that if in 10 business days they have not responded, the water service to the building will be shut off.  The billing will be based on the highest quarterly usage out of the last four billing cycles.

4.13     Irrigation/Sewer Deduct Meter

Properties served by the Towns wastewater collections system may install, at the owner’s expense, a second meter to monitor outdoor usage.  Properties electing to install an irrigation/sewer deduct meter will have two (2) water meters, one meter will register all water entering the property and the second meter capturing only outdoor usage not contributing flow to the municipal sewer system.  Outdoor usage captured by the second meter will NOT be subject to sewer usage fees.  Irrigation/Sewer Deduct meters shall be installed in accordance with the Department Irrigation/Sewer Deduct Meter Policy.