West Boylston Water District

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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions Specific to the Meter Replacement Program:

How are the District's operations funded?

All operations of the District are funded by the fees collected for services and water usage.  No property taxes from the Town of West Boylston are used to fund the District.  On occasion, the District will apply for grant money from State or Federal agencies to help fund particular projects.

Can you please explain my Sewer Bill?

We'd like to help, but we are not responsible for Sewer Bills.  Though your Sewer Bill is based on the amount of water that you use in a quarter, the billing for sewers is handled by the Town of West Boylston's Sewer Division, a division of the Department of Public Works.  Their offices are located on the second floor of the DPW building at 35 Worcester Street (behind the Police Station).  You can reach them at 508-835-6133.  For more information, see their web page at Town of West Boylston, MA - Sewer Division.

How is my water bill calculated?

Water Bills are based on the amount of water that you use in a quarter.  See the Rates and Billing page for more information and an example.

How often do water bills go out?

You will receive a water bill once every quarter, or every three months.  But bills are sent out to one-third of the town each month.  So, the months that you get your bill depends on where you live in town. 

Where does the water come from?

All of the water supplied by the West Boylston Water District is ground water and comes from three gravel-packed wells.  The three wells in operation are:

  • the Lee Street well, located in the Lee Street well field
  • the Oakdale well, located in Oakdale near the Rail Trail
  • the Pleasant Valley well, located on DCR land near Route 140 and the Wachusett Reservoir

For more information on the wells, see our Water Sources page.

Why don't we use the water in the Wachusett Reservoir?

The Wachusett Reservoir is operated by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority and provides water for Boston and surrounding communities.  Since the reservoir is located in town and was constructed by large land-takings by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Town of West Boylston, through the Water District, has the right to use water in the reservoir.  But, reservoir water is surface water, which generally requires a lot of treatment before it is safe to drink.  So, while we can, we will stick with our clean ground water.

What kind of treatment does the water receive?

Currently, the water is treated with 2 additives at each water source:  potassium hydroxide and sodium polyphosphate.  These additives are used to help control corrosion and the staining of fixtures.  Occasionally, if the need arises, we will also add chlorine to kill bacteria.  We are NOT adding chlorine at this time.  See the Water Quality page for more information.

My water is discolored.  Why is that?

Your water may be discolored for several reasons.  Sometimes when the water is treated with chlorine, the chlorine can react with the iron and manganese found naturally in our wells, causing discoloration.  Water is also often discolored when the Water District flushes the hydrants and water mains.  You should avoid washing your laundry when the Hydrant Flushing Program is going on in your neighborhood.  Your water should be clear again several hours after the flushing stops for the day.  For details on the Hydrant Flushing Program, see the description on the Notices page.

Why do I need a new water meter?

The new meter will ensure accurate readings and eliminate the need for water district personnel to enter your home or business to obtain water meter readings.  In addition, the older meters are more costly to maintain.

Will I be charged for the new meter?

There will be no charge to individual customers for the meter replacement program.  Costs related to the meter replacement program will be paid from the District's operating funds.  This expenditure represents an investment in improved billing efficiency and customer service.

Will my water bills increase due to the new water meter?

New water meters will ensure that all customers are charged an equitable amount for the water service based on the actual amount of water consumed.  If you existing water meter has been under registering the volume of water used at your property, you water consumption may appear to increase.  The amount charged for each gallon of water consumed will not increase as a result of the water meter replacement program.  You water bills are based on your actual water usage.  The only difference is that your actual usage will be more accurately measured.

What are my options regarding appointments?

Appointments for the meter replacement program will be conducted Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

What if my water service pipe is old and in bad condition?

Water District Personnel will inspect the condition of the pipe before installing the new meter. If the condition of the pipe is uncertain, we will not be able to install the meter. According to the District’s Rules and Regulations, the property owner is responsible for the maintenance of the service pipe on the property.

What if I am a tenant and do not own this property?

If you are a tenant, you will be asked to provide access to the meter for installation personnel. We also ask that you notify the owner of the property about this letter.

I have tenants, but do not reside at the property. What should I do?

If you have tenants but do not reside on your property, you are responsible for calling the water district for an appointment and for providing access to the meter.

Will my water need to be shut off during installation?

Yes. Under routine circumstances water service will be interrupted for about 30 minutes. After service is resumed, you should run a water faucet for about 2 minutes to clear the water pipes of air.

How do you know that my reading is accurate?

The new meters are tested before installation. These state of the art meters have electronic registers, which verify the meter reading before it is sent to the transmitting unit. This type of meter reading is deemed more accurate than visually reading the meter.

How do I know that you have my reading and not someone else’s?

Each radio frequency device has a unique identification number that is transmitted along with the meter reading. The unique identification number is compared to your account record to ensure that there is a match.

Is there a hazard from the radio transmitter in my home?

No, this type of equipment is regulated by the FCC and transmits with only 1 watt of power. Each radio transmission lasts only on a fraction of a second.

Will the radio interfere with my television, cordless telephone or pacemaker?

No, the radio transmissions occur on a frequency very different from those used by television signals, cordless telephones and pacemakers. You will not see any interference with your television reception.

What powers the radio transmission device?

The radio transmission device is a battery-powered device. The expected life of the battery is 20 years, which exceeds the expected life of a residential water meter.


Copyright 2004 - West Boylston Water District